China's government has prompted two acclaimed directors to pull their movies from the Golden Horse Awards, forcing major changes to the shortlist of nominees just weeks before the top event in Chinese-language cinema.
The two films violated Chinese government policy banning films with exclusively Chinese investment from competing at the event, a Chinese film official said yesterday.
In a new nomination list issued late on Monday, Golden Horse organizers replaced best film entry Tuya's Marriage -- a Golden Bear winner for director Wang Quanan (
Wang was also nominated in the best director category, along with compatriot Li Yang (
Yu Nan (余男), who played an Inner Mongolian herdswoman who considers a second marriage to a wealthy man so she can afford to care for her handicapped husband in Tuya's Marriage, was withdrawn from the best actress competition, with Taiwanese Rene Liu (劉若英) from Kidnap taking her spot.
Luan Guozhi (
"The Golden Horse Awards evaluate Taiwanese movies. We don't think mainland-made movies can be considered Taiwanese movies," he said, adding that China-Taiwan and China-foreign coproductions didn't fall under the ban.
The awards are open to all Chinese-language films, and the organizers take pride in the event's status as the Chinese Oscars.
Luan said the Golden Horse Awards "isn't an international festival, like Cannes or Berlin."
Li said he regretted not being able to compete in Taiwan but that he expected China to relax its restrictions gradually.
"Of course I hope the movie can take part in film festivals, win awards and boost its recognition," he said.
He declined to say if he was forced to pull Blind Mountain,about a young woman who's unknowingly sold as a bride to a farmer, because of its sensitive subject. Li previously said Chinese censors asked him to change the script but he declined to reveal the changes.
The offices of Wang Le (
The changes to the Golden Horse shortlist don't affect the front-runner status of Ang Lee (
The winners will be announced on Dec. 8 in Taipei.