TAIPEI - Taiwanese auteur Hou Hsiao-hsien's The Assassin made a killing at the announcement of the Golden Horse Awards nominations in Taiwan on Thursday (Oct 1).
The period wuxia drama starring Shu Qi in the titular role had 11 nods, including for Best Feature Film, Best Director and Best Leading Actress.
Hou, known for his realist and minimalist style, will also be receiving the award for Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year. The ceremony of the Chinese-speaking world's equivalent of the Oscars will be held on Nov 21.
Drama Thanatos, Drunk by Taiwan's Chang Tso-chi received 10 nods and crime thriller Port Of Call by Hong Kong's Philip Yung had nine.
Both are also in the running for Best Feature Film and the category also recognised drama Tharlo by Tibetan director Pema Tseden and drama Mountains May Depart by Chinese director Jia Zhangke.
Aside from Hou, the nominees for Best Director include Chang, Pema, Jia as well as Hong Kong's Tsui Hark for action flick The Taking Of Tiger Mountain.
In the Best Leading Actress category, Shu is up against Hong Kong's Karena Lam in Zinnia Flower, China's Zhao Tao in Mountains May Depart, Taiwan's Sylvia Chang in Office and Vivian Sung in Our Times.
According to the Central News Agency, the Best Leading Actor was a hotly argued-over category and Hong Kong's Andy Lau failed to make the cut for Saving Mr Wu by merely one vote. So Taiwan's Lee Hong-chi (Thanatos, Drunk), Hong Kong's Aaron Kwok (Port Of Call), China's Feng Xiaogang (Mr Six), Deng Chao (The Dead End) and Dong Zijian (De Lan) will duke it out for best actor honours.
China's top-grossing movie of all time, the fantasy adventure Monster Hunt, has four nominations in the technical categories, including for Best Visual Effects and Best Art Direction. And Alec Su, formerly of the pop group Little Tigers, is in the running for Best New Director for the coming-of-age film, The Left Ear.