Hou Hsiao-hsien’s “The Assassin” came out on top at the Golden Horse Awards, the prize ceremony at the end of Taiwan’s Golden Horse festival which are often regarded as the highest prizes for Chinese-language films.

“The Assassin,” which was years in the making for Taiwanese auteur Hou, claimed five prizes including best film, best direction and best cinematography.

Prizes were announced on Saturday evening at a ceremony in Taipei.

Another Taiwanese production, “Thanatos, Drunk” was the only other film to come close on the night. It picked up four prizes including best supporting actress (Lu Xuefeng) and best newcomer (Lee Hong-chi.)

Jia Zhangke’s “Mountains May Depart” picked up two awards – best original screenplay and the audience choice award – as did “Kaili Blues.” It claimed the best new director award for Bi Gan and the FIPRESCI prize.

Top Chinese director Feng Xiaogang earned the best actor award for his performance in “Mr Six.” Johnnie To’s “The Office” won the best design award for William Chang Suk-ping.

There were no prizes for big mainland Chinese productions “Monster Hunt, “Wolf Totem” or “Gone With The Bullets,” and no silverware for “Murmur of the Hearts,” the musical drama directed by Taiwanese actress-director-producer Sylvia Chang.