The Ministry of Culture would like to hereby congratulate Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang on winning the Grand Jury Prize at the 70th Venice Film Festival.
Tsai's latest film, "Stray Dogs,” was awarded the honor on Sept. 7 at the Venetian isle of Lido. During his acceptance speech, the 55-year-old director thanked the jury and his fans for supporting his cinematic endeavors.
'Stray Dogs' stars Lee Kang-sheng as a father who struggles to maintain the livelihoods of his son and daughter on the streets of Taipei. It maintains the slow pace that often characterizes Tsai's works, including a 12-minute scene showing Lee eating rotten vegetables.
Lee, a regular in Tsai's films, was first discovered by the director at a video game store in Taipei in 1991. Since then, the actor has appeared in all of the director's feature films.
Born in Malaysia, Tsai came to Taiwan after graduating from high school to study drama and film, in which he began writing stage plays during his student days. His works often convey the feelings of abandonment and loneliness in modern society and urban lives.
'Stray Dogs' is the director's first film since his 2009 production 'Face,' which was nominated for a Cannes Film Festival award. He had previously tasted widespread success at the 1994 Venice Film Festival, where he captured the top prize, the Golden Lion Award, for his second feature film 'Vive L'Amour.'
Tsai has refused to make commercial films and has long expressed frustration over the general audience's penchant for such productions, saying earlier this week that 'Stray Dogs' could be his last film.
President Ma Ying-jeou, Vice President Wu Den-yih and Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai all sent congratulatory statements to Tsai after his win at the Venice Film Festival.
'A low-spirited Taiwan is in great, great need of such joy,' Lung said.
'Stray Dogs' received over NT$6 million (US$201,711) in funding from Taiwan's Ministry of Culture.