China's Huabiao Awards aims to outshine Golden Horse

BEIJING • Netizens said the Chinese government is going all out to steal the thunder from the Golden Horse Awards, seen as Chinese cinema's Oscars and which is held in Taiwan.

Over the weekend, the Huabiao Awards, which honours the best in China's film industry, was held in Beijing, with a big turnout of A-listers including actor Jackie Chan, director Zhang Yimou and actress Zhang Ziyi.

According to trade publication Variety, officials had asked those who were abroad to return to attend too, to ensure that the event would be a glitzy one.

Director Chen Kaige had to skip the festivities at the International Film Festival and Awards Macau, which began last Saturday and where he is jury president.

In a year when top actress Fan Bingbing has fallen out of favour because of a tax evasion scandal, Chinese celebrities have been careful to toe the line.

When Beijing ordered mainland Chinese attendees to boycott the after-parties following pro-Taiwanese independence remarks on stage at the recent Golden Horse Awards in Taipei, they complied.

At the government-run Huabiao Awards, Dante Lam won best director for his patriotic thriller Operation Red Sea, while Wu Jing, director and star of the nationalistic Wolf Warrior 2, was named best actor.

Jin Chen bagged best actress for her role in Hold Your Hands, a drama based on the true story of a village visited by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who wanted to eradicate poverty.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 13, 2018, with the headline 'China's Huabiao Awards aims to outshine Golden Horse'. Print Edition | Subscribe