Surprised Winner of Visually-impaired Woman at Golden Horse Awards

November 24, 2014
Editor: Kiki Liu

Zhang Lei (R), a 24-year-old visually-impaired woman, is awarded the best new performer award at the 51st Golden Horse Awards on November 22. [people.com]

Zhang Lei, a visually-impaired woman from Nantong, east China's Jiangsu Province, won "Best New Performer" at the 51st Golden Horse Awards, a Taiwan-based competition open to all Chinese-language films, on November 22.

China's "Blind Massage", a feature-film by Chinese director Lou Ye, won in six of the seven categories, for which it was nominated at the 51st Golden Horse Awards.

The feature-film centers around a touching yet bittersweet love story set in a Nanjing massage parlor run by a group of employees who share the common trait of being visually impaired.

Zhang Lei played massage-therapist Xiao Kong, and drew the audience's attention due to her character's consideration for others as well as her self-reflection in the film, while the actress herself suffers from visual impairment in her actual life.

At the prize-giving ceremony, Zhang, together with director Lou, gave an interview about their victory at the 51st Golden Horse Awards on November 22.

Zhang expressed that she enjoyed the career of being a performer. However, she noted that it will be difficult for her to continue her acting career due to her poor eyesight.

She added that she graduated from a school for the visually impaired which is supported by Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine and School for the Deaf and the Blind, and she found a job in the Chinese Pediatric Massage (CPM) industry in Suzhou, an ancient city in east China's Jiangsu Province. If possible, she wants to be a dubbing specialist in the future.

"Unlike other totally blind students in our school, Zhang suffers from low vision, so she is still able to help others. It is lucky but rare for Zhang to be a performer in the film and win an award, while the majority of our visually-impaired students engage in the massage industry upon graduation," said Liu Hong, head teacher of the school for the visually impaired.

"It is by chance that Zhang was chosen to be a performer in the film when the dramatic team selected a massager-therapist from our school in 2012. Giving audiences an image of simplicity and approachability, Zhang is a low key figure even after she won the award," said Xiao Yu, secretary of the league committee of the school.

The film beat another mainland Chinese film titled “Black Coal, Thin Ice,” with eight nominations at the 51st Golden Horse Awards and will debut in Chinese cinemas on November 28.

A poster for the film "Blind Massage", which will debut on November 28. [ce.cn]

(Source: Xinhua / Translated by Women of China)

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