Rooster crows for ‘Side’

'Thieves'' Liu lands leading actress award

“Zhang Side,” a propaganda movie about an ally of late Chinese communist party chairman Mao Zedong, took the top nods at China’s annual film kudofest, the Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Bloom Film Awards.

Lavish ceremony was held Saturday in the scenic southeastern city of Hangzhou. Although it is the main film awards in China, most people in the biz are largely indifferent to the kudos. Since it started in 1962, the state-backed China Filmmakers’ Assn. has steadily downgraded the event into a showcase for propaganda pics.

“Zhang Side” was named best film and earned the director nod for Yin Li, and actor kudos for Wu Jun. Pic was produced by the August First Film Studio, which is owned by the Chinese army. With 2.3 million soldiers and officers, the People’s Liberation Army is the biggest in the world and “Zhang Side” was required viewing.

Taiwanese thesp Joyin Liu beat mainland Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi to land leading actress award for her perf in director Feng Xiaogang’s “A World Without Thieves” while Hong Kong star Nicholas Tse beat Andy Lau to take supporting actor award for his turn in “New Police Story.” Supporting actress went to Yuen Wah for “Kung Fu Hustle.”Event featured 65 pics from all over the region and the winners were chosen by “experts.”

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