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The Assassin,” made by iconic Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien, heads the race for the annual Golden Horse Awards, having collected a massive 11 nominations.

Nominations for the awards, often regarded as the most prestigious prizes for Chinese-language films, were announced Thursday in Taiwan.

“The Assassin” was closely followed by another Taiwanese film Chang Tso-chi’s “Thanatos, Drunk,” which received nominations in 10 categories, and by “Port of Call,” directed by Hong Kong’s Philip Yung with 9 nominations.

The five nominations for best film included “The Assassin,” “Thanatos,” “Port of Call,” Pema Tseden’s “Tharlo” and Jia Zhangke’s “Mountains May Depart.”

Best actor nominations include Feng Xiaogang, best known as China’s most consistently successful commercial director, but who takes a lead acting role in “Mr Six”. Other nominees in the category include Lee Hong-chi (“Thanatos, Drunk”), Aaron Kwok (“Port of Call”), Deng Chao (“The Dead End”), and Dong Zijian (“De Lan”). Nominations for best actress include Karena Lam (“Zinnia Flower”), Sylvia Chang (“Office”), Vivian Sung (“Our Times”), Shu Qi (“The Assassin”) and Zhao Tao (“Mountains May Depart”).

Hou will also receive the ‘Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year’ award. The Golden Horse festival said it was rewarding Hou’s “achievement and uncompromised perseverance [which] brings Taiwanese cinema to the international stage and sets an example for all filmmakers.”
Organizers said that they received 427 film submissions (153 live action features, 4 animated features, 200 shorts and 70 documentaries), compared to last year’s 364 submissions.

All the nominated films will screen at Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival (Nov. 5-21, 2015). The 52nd Golden Horse Awards Ceremony will be held on Nov. 21 at National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei.