Golden Horse nominations saw fierce competition: organizers

Taipei, Oct. 2 (CNA) The competition has been fierce for this year's Golden Horse Awards, organizers said, with major contenders like Taiwanese military drama "Paradise in Service" among the films that did not get a nomination. "Paradise" just missed the nomination for the best feature film category, coming in number six in the voting, said Wen Tien-hsiang, executive director of the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival Executive Committee, at a press conference to announce the nominees Wednesday evening. Doze Niu, who directed the coming-of-age film about a young conscript in 1960s Taiwan, also just missed the cut for the best director category. This year's best feature film nominees are Chinese director Diao Yinan's thriller "Black Coal, Thin Ice," Chinese actor and first-time director Chen Jianbin's "A Fool," Hong Kong director Ann Hui's "The Golden Era," Taiwanese director Umin Boya's debut film "Kano" and Chinese director Lou Ye's "Blind Massage." In the best director category are Diao, Hui and Lou, along with Burmese-Taiwanese director Midi Z for "Ice Poison" and Chinese director Wang Xiaoshuai for "Red Amnesia." Wen said 11 films have received five or more nominations, a first in the history of the awards and an indication of the quality of this year's contestants.
While Chinese films outshined Taiwan-made ones in the nominations, Wen said the submissions show that Taiwan's film industry is becoming more international, with more Taiwanese actors appearing in foreign films and more foreign actors appearing in local productions. The best lead actress category meanwhile was also a battleground, Wen said, adding that Lu Zhong, the lead in "Red Amnesia," "battled to the very last moment" though she did not end up getting a nomination. In the best supporting actor category, Zhang Yi in "Dearest" and Wu Chien-he in "Partners in Crime" were also two highly-praised actors who did not receive a nod, Wen said. A total of 364 films were submitted for competition this year -- the most in the award's 51 year history -- and 38 films including 14 Taiwan-made films received nominations. Wen said the fiercest debate occurred in the best feature film category and praised "Black Coal, Thin Ice," which leads with eight nominations, as a "very special" film that overturns traditional detective films. The film won the Berlin International Film Festival's top prize, the Golden Bear award for best film, earlier this year. Meanwhile, directors, actors and actresses expressed excitement about their nominations. In a text message to reporters, Taiwan's Gwei Lun-mei, nominated for best actress for her role in "Black Coal, Thin Ice," thanked director Diao and fellow actor Liao Fan for "bringing me to a beautiful place I've never dreamed of." Director Boya thanked "Kano" cast and crew in a statement and said it was their "hard work and selfless dedication" that made the film possible. China's Chen, who was nominated for best lead actor, best new director and best adapted screenplay for "A Fool," and best supporting actor for "Paradise in Service," said he "did not expect this at all." "Thank you Golden Horse Awards for giving me the confidence to continue making good movies," he said in a statement. (By Christie Chen)