Gong Li questions fairness of Taiwan film awards

Gong Li
Gong Li

Gong Li

TAIPEI, Taiwan: The golden horse statues have been awarded, but drama hasn’t ended from one of Asia’s biggest film festivals.

Chinese actress Gong Li called Taiwan’s Golden Horse Film Festival unprofessional after she lost the best actress category to Taiwanese actress Chen Shiang Chyi. Sometimes called the Chinese Oscars, the Golden Horse Awards are among the most prestigious for Mandarin-language films. While the festival home is Taiwan, the filmmakers and stars who make up the jury and compete for the awards hail from all over the region.

In a statement via her manager Monday, Gong questioned the awards’ impartiality and said an “unfair” festival would be looked down upon in the film industry.

Speaking to The Associated Press, Gong’s manager Christophe Tseng said her criticism wasn’t aimed at a particular award category or any individual, rather, she wanted to bring attention to the voting process.

At the Golden Horse festival, the jurors who select the nominees are asked back for the final vote.

Together, the two panels choose for the winners. Tseng said that his client doesn’t understand why the nominating panel is invited to vote for the winners.

The festival executive committee responded in a statement that the “judging process and the result of the Golden Horse has always been independent and fair. It is not influenced by any external factor …”

The committee also called this year’s 17 jurors “outstanding professionals” who voted anonymously under the watch of lawyers.

The jury president, Chinese actress Joan Chen, said it’s inevitable someone will think any festival’s awards results are unfair and the Golden Horse is no exception. Chen called the judging process “transparent and democratic” and not interfered with or influenced by others.

Saturday’s big winner was Chinese-French film “Blind Massage,” which won best feature and five other categories.

Gong was nominated for “Coming Home” from director Zhang Yimou. Their previous collaborations include “Curse of the Golden Flower,” “To Live” and “Raise the Red Lantern.” She’s also appeared in “Miami Vice” and “Memoirs of a Geisha.”

 
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