Mon, Nov 28, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Chinese Golden Horse winners draw criticism

BACKLASH:Taiwanese actors only won the supporting actor awards, but the festival’s executive director said nationality played no role in selecting the winners

By Ho Chin-hsien, Lu Chia-hao and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

From left, Chinese actress Ma Sichun, actor Fan Wei and actress Zhou Dongyu hold their Best Leading Actress and Actor awards at the 53rd Golden Horse Awards in Taipei on Saturday night.

Photo: Chiang Ying-ying, AP

The winning slate of Chinese films at Saturday’s 53rd Golden Horse Awards in Taipei sparked a public outcry in Taiwan, with some people saying the awards had been co-opted by the Chinese film industry.

The Chinese film The Summer Is Gone (八月) picked up the top award — best feature film — as well as the prize for best new performer, which was won by 10-year-old Kong Weiyi (孔維一).

Chinese director Feng Xiaogang (馮小剛) won the best director award with his drama I Am Not Madame Bovary (我不是潘金蓮).

The best actress award was shared by Chinese actresses Zhou Dongyu (周冬雨) and Ma Sichun (馬思純) for their performances in the romantic drama Soul Mate (七月與安生), while their compatriot Fan Wei (范偉) won the best lead actor award for Mr. No Problem (不成問題的問題).

Among the major awards at what are considered the Oscars of the Chinese-speaking world, Taiwan won only best supporting acting awards: Elaine Jin (金燕玲) won for her role in Mad World (一念無明) and Austin Lin (林柏宏) for his role as a high school student in At Cafe 6 (六弄咖啡館).

“I have not watched the Golden Horse awards on live television for a decade [until Saturday], and I thought I was watching the [Beijing-sponsored] Golden Rooster,” Hsu Yung-teh (許永德), a former deputy manager of programing at China Television System, posted on Facebook.

One response to Hsu’s comment read: “We spent our money to encourage the efforts of outsiders; [the result] was an insult to the hard work of every person in Taiwan’s cinematic industry, and even worse, it was an insult to Taiwanese confidence in our own movie and TV culture.”

The Taiwanese film Godspeed (一路順風) won best art direction.

The Road to Mandalay (再見瓦城), a Taiwanese film that had been expected to pick up several awards, won none.

Some Taiwanese who attended the ceremony left comments online panning the awards, saying the festival had been “taken over by the Gold Rooster” or “overrun by the Reds.”

A meme on Chinese social media that said the top wins by Chinese films showed that “the future of the film industry belongs to the young, and Taiwan’s future belongs to China,” quickly went viral.

Steven Tu (塗翔文), who produced the Taiwanese film Forest Debussy (德布西森) said on Facebook: “The two Taiwanese films are indisputably superb movies; this year’s festival was inexplicable.”

One netizen who noted that The Summer Is Gone won the best film, but not best new director category, asked: “What exactly were the standards the panel used in its judgement?”

However, not everyone was so critical.

Screenwriter Li Yuan (李遠), known by his penname Hsiao Yeh (小野), said on Facebook: “Taiwanese films almost got wiped out this year. Looking at movie people from China and Hong Kong coming on stage with tears of gratitude, they also showed a certain respect for the Golden Horse, and even for Taiwan. I am proud of the independence and inclusivity of the Golden Horse. Taiwan’s film industry and culture lost a lot of its energy when confronted with drastic social change; members of the Taiwanese movie industry have been working hard in a tough environment, and I believe we will do much better next year.”

Asked about the results, Golden Horse Festival jury head Ann Hui (許鞍華), who on Saturday night called the panel’s deliberations “a death struggle,” said: “No count was conducted [of the awards given to each nationality], and it led to this result.”

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