Gong Li says too many judges spoil the Golden Horse

Gong Li's manager has explained her position on the Golden Horse Awards, saying the actress thinks too many judges spoil the film festival. -- PHOTO: AFP
Gong Li's manager has explained her position on the Golden Horse Awards, saying the actress thinks too many judges spoil the film festival. -- PHOTO: AFP

Taipei - Gong Li's manager has explained her position on the Golden Horse Awards, saying the actress thinks too many judges spoil the film festival.

In a stunning statement issued by her manager after her shock loss last Saturday, Gong vowed never to take part in the contest again. Speaking to ETtoday website on Wednesday, her manager Tseng Jing-chau said the actress's criticism of the Golden Horse was directed at its production, its system and its international credibility.

Gong, who has sat on the juries of major movie competitions such as Cannes and Berlin, "believes that in general, there are about seven people on the jury of an international film festival. Cannes film festival has at most nine or 10", said Tseng.

"Why are there 17 people on the Golden Horse Awards jury?" he added. "This is simply an international precedent. Isn't it a political conspiracy? Who's the master of these 17 people?"

He also rejected theories that Gong took offence at what Golden Horse red carpet host Pink Yang and presenter Hou Hsiao-hsien said last Saturday. On the carpet, Gong said she would like to star in a comedy and Yang replied: "Let's talk after you get the Best Actress award."

On stage later, Hou hinted that Gong would not win, saying: "The next time you're here, I hope you'll be standing on stage accepting an award."

Gong's manager said she did not mind the remarks at all. "Miss Gong and Director Hou know each other incredibly well. They meet regularly at international events. Director Hou will tease her especially. Maybe she was nervous for a moment or she forgot, but she didn't mind this."

Tseng said Gong had never even met actress Joan Chen, who headed the Golden Horse jury, and was not attacking Chen in her statement.

Gong was tipped to win Best Actress for Coming Home, but the prize went to Chen Shiang-chyi for Exit.

The Golden Horse has a history of unpredictability. In 2000, Best Film went to Lee Ang's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon but he was not named Best Director. Instead, the prize was awarded to a dark horse, Johnnie To for The Mission. Tony Leung Chiu Wai, nominated for Best Actor for the year's other major movie, In The Mood For Love, also lost to The Mission's Francis Ng.

Last year, Anthony Chen's Ilo Ilo scored four Golden Horse Awards, including Best Film, in a historic win for Singapore. The favourite, Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster, was left out in the cold with Best Actress for Zhang Ziyi and a handful of technical prizes.