Sylvia CHANG Ai-chia
2011 Honorary Fellow
Sylvia Chang Ai-chia, born in Taiwan and based in Hong Kong since the late 1970s, has had an astonishing and creative film career over the past 40 years in the field of acting, writing, producing and directing. She won her first acting award (for Best Supporting Actress) in 1976 at the 13th Golden Horse Film Awards for Posterity and Perplexity. In 1981, she made her directorial debut, Once Upon a Time, as well as winning the Golden Horse Best Actress Award for her performance in My Grandfather. Since then, she has appeared in more than 100 feature films, working with some of the best directors in the Chinese cinema. They include King Hu in Legend of the Mountain (1979), Ann Hui in The Secret (1979), Edward Yang in That Day on the Beach (1983), Tsui Hark in Shanghai Blues (1984), Ang Lee in Eat, Drink, Man Woman (1994) and Tian Zhuangzhuang in The Go Master (2006). She also appeared in the popular American TV series M.A.S.H (1979), and played the leading role in Mike Newell’s Soursweet (1988) and François Girard’s The Red Violin (1998).
Undisputedly one of the most accomplished directors in the Hong Kong cinema, Ms Chang is renowned for the delicate portrayal of her female characters. Passion (1986), a love story featuring a ménage à trios affair and in which she starred herself, won a Best Director nomination at the Golden Horse Awards, as well as the Best Actress Award at both Golden Horse and Hong Kong Film Awards. In 1995, she collaborated with Ang Lee on the screenplay of Siao Yu and garnered five awards at the Asia-Pacific Film Festival, including Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best Actress. Her screenplay for Tonight Nobody Goes Home (1996) also received the Best Screenplay Award at the same Festival. Tempting Heart (1999), another love story spanning a period of over two decades, won her the third screenwriting award at the Hong Kong Film Awards. Two retrospectives of her films were organized by London and Toronto Film Festival in 1989 and 1992 respectively.
Since 2009, she has also been writing for the stage. Her collaborations with Edward Lam Dance Theatre on Design for Living and Grand Expectations are both huge critical and box-office successes in Asia.
She was a member of the Jury at Berlin International Film Festival in 1992. In 2010, she was invited to be Vice-Chairperson of Hong Kong International Film Festival. This year, she chairs the Taipei Film Festival. In 1988, she set up the Gosh Cultural & Education Foundation to foster and encourage young people to dedicate their lives to work in the arts.
Last but not least, Ms Chang is also a popular singer with a number of big hits in South-East Asia, which include Childhood, Blind and Busy and A Better Tomorrow, most of them collaborated with the singer-composer Luo Dayou.