The Golden Horse Awards will be held on Nov 23 this year, the same day as China’s Golden Rooster. The clash means China’s top movie stars and directors will likely not attend the event in Taipei, even if their work is up for prizes, observers note.
The Chinese movie industry has traditionally done well at the Golden Horse, touted as the Oscars of Chinese-language cinema.
An Elephant Sitting Still swept Best Movie and Zhang Yimou netted Best Director for Shadow last year.
But that edition was also marred by politics, with the Taipei audience irked by what Chinese actor Tu Men said on stage in presenting a prize, mentioning he was honoured to be returning as a presenter in “China, Taiwan”.
Beijing considers Taiwan part of China.
Hence, the decision to hold the event on Nov 23 has been read by some punters as a possible move to avoid another hoo-ha, even if the absence of Chinese A-listers would dilute the standing of the occasion.
The Golden Horse Awards has also been a source of irritation for Beijing.
Last year, Chinese censors cut out Taiwanese director Fu Yue’s on-stage remarks after she won Best Documentary. “I really hope that one day, our country can be treated as a truly independent entity. This is my greatest wish as a Taiwanese,” she said.
Her stand apparently irked Chinese actress Gong Li who refused to go on stage to hand out an award.
The Chinese attendees boycotted a social function after the ceremony.
Hong Kong director Johnnie To has been named chairman of the Golden Horse jury this year.