China-Taiwan tensions overshadow run-up to Golden Horse Awards

What impact has the Chinese boycott of Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards had on nominations and the Chinese-language filmmaking industry?

Screen Daily
Date: 22 November 2019
By: Silvia Wong


It came as no surprise that not a single film from China was on the nominations list of Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards when they were announced in October. The Chinese government had issued a boycott order in August, banning all mainland Chinese films and personnel from entering or attending what are considered to be the Chinese Oscars.

Still, the mass no-show is unsettling: it is the first time no Chinese films have been nominated since 1996 when Jiang Wen’s In The Heat Of The Sun became the first film from China to take part in the awards. Since then many top Chinese filmmakers have been garlanded, including Joan Chen, Feng Xiaogang, Lou Ye, Jia Zhangke and Zhang Yimou.

The boycott is due to political tensions between the Chinese government and the democratically elected Taiwanese government over the long-disputed autonomy of the island state, which is not recognised by China. The tensions have intensified ever since a young Taiwanese prize-winner briefly mentioned on stage at last year’s awards her hopes for Taiwan to be treated as an independent entity, and because of the patriotic fervour gripping China this year during its 70th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

All the events under the Golden Horse banner have come under fire, including the Golden Horse Film Festival, Golden Horse Film Project Promotion and the Golden Horse Academy. Even Kaohsiung Film Festival, which ran in October separately as an initiative of the Kaohsiung Film Archive in southern Taiwan, did not have an entry from China.    [FULL  STORY]

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