Singaporean social drama "Ilo. Ilo" won for best film, best new director for Anthony Chen and best original screenplay.
"Ilo. Ilo" tells of the relationship between a Filipina maid and the family she serves in Singapore during the Asian recession of 1997. The maid's friendship with the family's young son ignites the jealously of his mother, even as she becomes an integral part of the family.
Hong Kong's highly touted "The Grandmaster" won for best actress - China's Zhang Ziyi - and in four minor categories, including best cinematography, but its failure to win best director for Wong Kar Wai may have been seen by some as a disappointment.
Loosely based on the life of martial arts legend Ip Man, "The Grandmaster" employs many of Wong's well-known trademarks, including frequent use of slow motion. Critics say it raises the martial arts genre to a new level, much in the way that Taiwan's Oscar-winning director Ang Lee did in 2000 with his "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."
The surprise of the evening may have been Taiwan's "Stray Dogs," which uses a collage of slow shots to illuminate the desperate lives of an alcoholic man and his two children in modern-day Taipei. Malaysian-born Tsai Ming-liang won for best director, while Lee Kang-sheng took best actor for his work in the film.
Taiwanese actress Chen Chen, who was known for her romantic lead roles and appeared in more than 70 films since making her debut in 1966, received the Lifetime Achievement Award
The five-hour program was hosted by popular Taiwan talk show host Kevin Tsai, whose avian-inspired wardrobe was topped off by a stuffed bird perched conspicuously on his left shoulder.