Golden Horse Award Nominations: Hong Kong’s “Limbo” Leads

Soi Cheang Pou-soi’s crime drama Limbo topped the Golden Horse Film Awards with 14 nominations. It’s just ahead of the Taiwan-made “Coo-Coo 043” and “Incantation,” both of which have 13 nominations.

All three films compete for Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Artistic Direction, Make-Up and Costume Design, Original Soundtrack, Editing and Sound Effects.

The Taiwan-based Golden Horse Awards has long been considered the most prestigious awards race for Chinese-language films, but has been boycotted by mainland Chinese films and filmmakers by order of mainland Chinese authorities for the past three years. This was followed by a pro-Taiwan independence speech delivered on stage by a local laureate in 2018.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People’s Republic of China (Mainland China) were formed in 1949 at the end of a civil war. The PRC claims democratically-ruled Taiwan and says it will be reunited — by force if necessary.

Hong Kong filmmakers have been pressured to follow the mainland mindset and not participate in the awards race. For the past three years, Hong Kong’s trade body, the Motion Picture Industry Association, has written warning letters to its members. It urged them to “seriously consider their own interests” and “avoid unnecessary losses” that participation and punishment might incur. Most Hong Kong filmmakers have stayed away.

In its most recent letter, the MPIA added political context to its warning. “As we all know, the geopolitical situation has intensified and dealt a serious blow to the four-strait exchange [Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and the PRC] and inevitably cast a shadow over film awards during this time,” it said.

The letters don’t seem to have worked. Limbo isn’t the only Hong Kong film taking part in the Golden Horse Awards this year.

Lau Kok-rui’s “The Sunny Side of the Road” has six nominations, including one for Best Actor for Anthony Wong Chau-sang. A character actor with a long pedigree in Hong Kong films, Wong has identified with Hong Kong’s own pro-democracy movement and is said to have left the city.

“The Narrow Road” is nominated in four categories. It was directed by Lam Sum, co-director of Hong Kong protest drama May You Stay Forever Young.

Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival Executive Committee CEO Wen Tiang-hsien also announced that the award for Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year goes to special effects specialist Chen Ming-ze in recognition of his contribution to the industry. “Chen devoted himself to the latest knowledge of special effects, especially explosions. He also set up his own company to nurture new talent and deliver dazzling action scenes with the utmost certainty of execution,” the organizers said. His contribution can be seen in this year’s The Abandoned, Melody-Go-Round and Untouchable.

All nominated films will be screened at the Golden Horse Film Festival beginning November 2, 2022. The 59th Golden Horse Awards Ceremony will be held on November 19, 2022 at the National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei. Golden Horse Award Nominations: Hong Kong’s “Limbo” Leads

Charles Jones

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