“It would be a great loss to China if the mainland does anything to boycott the Golden Horse Film Festival,” Lung Ying-ta said, according to Taiwan media reports.
The awards are open to Chinese language films of all origins and dialects. They are held annually in Taiwan, which China regards as a rebel province with which it will one day be reunited.
The source of controversy appears to be the inclusion of Taiwan-made “Kano” in the five nominees for best picture.
Set in 1931, and directed by Umin Boya, the film tells the story of a multi-ethnic high school baseball team in Taiwan preparing for a competition in Japan. It portrays the Japanese colonial era in a semi-positive light, although the Taiwanese team pulls off an against-the-odds series of wins.
China’s Bureau of News and Publishing is understood to have issued a notice banning live broadcasts of the awards ceremony, promotion of the awards or “Kano.” Such a ban has not been confirmed.
China and Taiwan have become economically closer in recent years and political links have followed, but tensions remain and issues of identity, flags and nationality often flare up.
China’s “Black Coal, Thin Ice,” topped the Golden Horse Awards nominations with eight. “Kano” had six nominations. Other nominees for best film are “A Fool,” “The Golden Era,” and “Blind Massage.”
The awards ceremony is this year to be held on Nov. 22 at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.