AFP – Acclaimed Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai’s martial arts film “The Grandmaster” led the nominations for Taiwan’s annual Golden Horse Awards, seen as the Chinese-language “Oscars”, organisers said Wednesday.
“The Grandmaster”, billed as an epic drama inspired by the life of Yip Man, the mentor of legendary kung fu star Bruce Lee, scored 11 nominations, including best film, best director, best actor and best actress.
Wong, who has had five previous best director nominations, won the award for the drama “Days of Being Wild” in 1991. He is best known for the 1994 romance “Chungking Express” and the intense period drama “In the Mood for Love” in 2000.
Award-winning Hong Kong director Johnnie To, China’s Jia Zhangke and Malaysian-born, Taiwan-based art-house filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang will also compete for the best director title.
To’s action flick “Drug War” is nominated for best feature film along with Jia’s “A Touch of Sin”, Tsai’s “Stray Dogs” and Singaporean director Anthony Chen’s “Ilo Ilo”.
Hong Kong actor Tony Leung Chiu-wai, who plays the eponymous “Grandmaster”, is vying for best actor against fellow Hong Konger Nick Cheung (“Unbeatable”) and Tony Leung Ka-fai (“Cold War”) as well as China’s Wang Yu (“Soul”) and Taiwan’s Lee Kang-sheng (“Stray Dogs”).
Chinese star Zhang Ziyi, who played opposite Tony Leung in “The Grandmaster”, will face off against Taiwan’s Shu Qi (“Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons”) and Gwei Lun-mei (“Christmas Rose”) as well as Hong Kong’s singer-actress Sammi Cheng (“Blind Detective”) for the best actress award.
“A Touch of Sin”, a Chinese social drama based on four true stories, and the Singaporean family drama “Ilo Ilo” depicting a girl’s relationship with her Filippino maid both received six nominations.
The Golden Horse Awards are styled on the US Academy Awards but are decided by a jury along the lines of the Cannes film festival. This year’s jury includes Oscar-winning American-Taiwanese director Ang Lee.
Winners for the 50th annual awards will be announced on November 23 in a gala ceremony in Taipei.