x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Calls to end 'Chinese Oscars' draw criticism

The Taiwanese politican Kuan Bi-ling says the Golden Horse Awards make Taiwan too dependent on China.

A Taiwanese politician's call to scrap a top film festival because it made Taiwan too reliant on China's movie industry sparked heated criticism from film veterans and fans.

The suggestion by the opposition politician Kuan Bi-ling came days after the Golden Horse Awards, dubbed the Chinese-language Oscars, were handed out for the 49th time at a weekend gala in eastern Taiwan.

Chinese and Hong Kong movies again dominated, winning Best Picture, Best Director and Best Leading Actor. Taiwan's Gwei Lun-mei was crowned Best Leading Actress, the first Taiwanese to take the title in six years.

"I urge Taiwan's film [industry] to position itself globally," Kuan said in a statement. "But the way the industry is currently focusing on the Chinese-language market means it relies on China's film policies, with little scope for the industry to expand."

Her remarks drew heated criticism from film industry people, including the acclaimed Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien, who has won top awards at the international film festivals in Cannes and Venice.

"The Golden Horse is the most acclaimed award in the Chinese-language area and it is our biggest advantage. I urge those who speak the political language to ... clear their heads and don't be so short-sighted," Hou said. - AFP