TAIPEI, Nov 25 — Actress Hu Ling today became the first Chinese film star to walk the red carpet of Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards since 2019, when China boycotted the self-ruled island's biggest awards show over political tensions.

Beijing banned its entertainers from joining Golden Horse, dubbed the Chinese-language Oscars, after a Taiwanese director voiced support for the island's independence in an acceptance speech in 2018.

China claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory and has long blacklisted its stars over any perceived backing for the island's independence.

There were no mainland films in the 2019 nomination list and several Hong Kong movies dropped out that year, while big commercial productions were conspicuously absent at both the 2020 and 2021 awards.

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But today, the red carpet was graced by Hu, nominated for best actress in the education drama Carp Leaping Over Dragon's Gate.

Dressed in a shimmering gown holding a pineapple in her hands, she was accompanied by Chinese film director Yan Xiaolin — who was nominated for best original screenplay — and some of the film's cast.

"Our film's (Chinese) name is Pineapple and Taiwan's audiences have told me that pineapple means good luck" in Taiwanese culture, Hu said in a brief televised interview.

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The 48-year-old actress is vying against Hong Kong's Jennifer Yu (In Broad Daylight) and Chung Suet-ying (The Lyricist Wannabe) — who both also attended today's ceremony — as well as Taiwan's veteran Monica Lu (Day Off) and 12-year-old Audrey Lin (Trouble Girl), the youngest-ever nominee in this category.

Chinese director Huang Ji also walked the red carpet with her Japanese husband Ryuji Otsuka, as the social drama Stonewalling they co-directed got four nods, including for best film and best director.

The attendance of the mainland Chinese actors is a departure from previous years.

In 2022, Chinese star Cya Liu — nominated for best actress for Hong Kong crime thriller Limbo — gave the ceremony a miss, with no reasons given.

Chinese director Huang Shuli collected the best documentary short film award in person last year — a rare appearance by a mainland filmmaker since the fallout.

This year, Malaysian historical drama Snow in Midsummer — a co-production with Singapore and Taiwan — is leading the race with nine nods, including best film and best director for Malaysian Chong Keat-aun. — AFP