‘Hero’ hearty in local kudos noms

'Xiaoping,' 'Taiwan' also up for feature prize

SHANGHAI — Favorite son Zhang Yimou was well represented in the nominations for this year’s Golden Rooster and One Hundred Flowers film awards.

The 23rd Golden Roosters, due to take place in the first week of November, will see six films including the presidential biopic “Deng Xiaoping” and “Once Upon a Time in Taiwan” competing for feature prize. Zhang Yimou’s domestic B.O. triumph “Hero” will be up against Sun Zhou’s “Zhou Yu’s Train,” starring Gong Li, in the co-production award.

In other categories, veteran actor Ge You’s turn in “Carla’s Dog” will be judged against Lu Qi as “Deng Xiaoping.” Director nominees include Zhang Yimou and Zhang Dongtian for “Once Upon a Time in Taiwan” (Taiwan Wangshi).

The Golden Roosters have been chosen annually by a team of 25 film industry and Film Bureau experts since 1981 (the year of the rooster in the Chinese zodiac). In 2003, however, the judges include five “ordinary viewers.”

In another change this year, the One Hundred Flowers Awards, which are normally held on the same night and are based on “Chinese audience appreciation,” will have their own ceremony during the same week.

Winners, announced last week, include “Hero” and “Deng Xiaoping” for film, Lu Qi (“Deng Xiaoping”) for actor and Xu Jinglei (in last year’s “Spring Subway”) for actress.

New rules announced this year by Chen Ruoying, secretary of China Film Assn. and of the Awards committee, stipulate that the Hundred Flowers winners must have achieved B.O. of at least 5 million yuan ($600,000) when released domestically or have reached audiences of over 20 million if played on national broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV).

Chen was quoted on China Web portal sina.com as saying, “The changes we are making this year will attract more film lovers than ever to take notice.”

2003’s Golden Rooster and One Hundred Flowers Awards will be held in Jiaxing, in Zhejiang Province, just outside Shanghai.

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