Wed, Nov 14, 2007 - Page 4 News List

PRC films out of awards

OUT OF THE RUNNING Two of those nominated for best director at the Golden Horse Awards were pulled from competition because of exclusive Chinese investment

AP , HONG KONG

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 (王全安) at the Berlin Film Festival in February that was pulled earlier this month -- with the Hong Kong police thriller Eye in the Sky.

Wang was also nominated in the best director category, along with compatriot Li Yang (李楊), who was nominated for Blind Mountain. The two have been replaced by China's Jiang Wen (姜文) and Hong Kong's Derek Yee (爾冬陞), the new list shows.

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a second marriage to a wealthy man so she can afford to care for her handicapped husband in Tuya's Marriage, was withdrawn from the best actress competition, with Taiwanese Rene Liu (劉若英) from Kidnap taking her spot.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 (欒國志), director of international cooperation at China's Film Bureau, said in a telephone interview that directors Li and Wang withdrew their movies because Beijing doesn't allow fully Chinese-financed films to compete at the Golden Horses, which it views as a Taiwanese event.

"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 (王樂), one of the executive producers of Tuya's Marriage, said the filmmaker wasn't immediately available for comment.

The changes to the Golden Horse shortlist don't affect the front-runner status of Ang Lee (李安), whose spy thriller Lust, Caution bagged 11 nominations.

The winners will be announced on Dec. 8 in Taipei.

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