Hong Kong films opt out of Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan fearing backlash from China

Chinese director Zhang Yimou with a replica of the Golden Horse award. He won the Best Director award at Taiwan's 55th Golden Horse film awards last year. ― Picture via Instagram/goldenhorsefilmfestival
Chinese director Zhang Yimou with a replica of the Golden Horse award. He won the Best Director award at Taiwan's 55th Golden Horse film awards last year. ― Picture via Instagram/goldenhorsefilmfestival

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 ― Several Hong Kong movies have opted out from this year's Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan for fear of a backlash from Chinese government following developments of protests in the Chinese territory.

Local Chinese language Sin Chew Daily reported that Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch, The White Storm 2 ― Drug Lords and Line Walker 2: Invisible Spy have confirmed they will not be participating in the festival, slated for November 23.

China’s film regulator had on Wednesday announced that it was suspending mainland Chinese movies and their personnel from participating in Taiwan’s annual Golden Horse Awards this year, without giving a reason.

The move comes after Taiwan-born documentary director Fu Yue had called for Taiwan to be recognised as an independent country during her acceptance speech in the event last year.

The event is touted to be the Chinese-speaking world’s version of the Oscars.

Sources were reported as saying unseen hands had stopped Chinese films from taking part in the event and Hong Kong producers also received similar notice, especially films that have yet to be shown in China.

Hong Kong stars who attend the event will also be included in the monitoring list by China.

It was also learnt that China s's National Radio and Television Administration had met several Hong Kong film company bosses to express their official opinion on the matter and hoped the bosses would cooperate.

“If the companies insist on taking part in the festival, it will have to bear the consequences later,” the daily reported, hence forcing many Hong Kong companies with joint projects in China to give up registering for the festival.

Finalists for the festival will be announced on August 22.

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