TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Following a boycott by China, no Chinese movies were present on the list of nominations for the Golden Horse Awards announced Tuesday (October 1), but the current Taiwanese hit “Detention” led the way with 12 nods.
China has been increasingly vocal about boycotting the island’s independence-leaning government, and after announcing a ban on individual travelers visiting Taiwan starting last August, the action against the Golden Horses, the Chinese-speaking world’s most prestigious film awards, was next. Even renowned Hong Kong director Johnnie To dropped out as head of the jury.
The Chinese boycott was “not hurting the Golden Horses, we are strong enough, we leave judgment to the outside world,” organizing committee CEO Wen Tien-hsiang (聞天祥) was quoted by the Central News Agency as saying.
He added there had been three kinds of Chinese movies, movies which did not register for the awards, movies which registered but then pulled out, and movies which registered but did not make it to the nomination stage.
The obvious winner at this stage was Taiwan’s “Detention,” which is currently also doing extremely well at the box office on the island. While the movie is described as psychological horror, the story is set against a strong historical background, the period of White Terror repression by the government of Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek.
In the movie, school children are trapped inside their school after their teacher, who introduced them to books banned by the authorities, disappeared.
The 56th awards ceremony will be held on November 23.