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Outcry in Taiwan over calls to terminate Chinese 'Oscars'
November 28, 2012
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TAIPEI: A Taiwanese lawmaker's call to scrap a top film festival because it made Taiwan too reliant on China's movie industry sparked heated criticism on Wednesday from film veterans and fans.

The suggestion by opposition lawmaker Kuan Bi-ling came days after the Golden Horse Awards, dubbed the Chinese-language "Oscars," were handed out for the 49th time at a weekend gala in eastern Taiwan.

Chinese and Hong Kong movies again dominated, winning best picture, best director and best leading actor.

Taiwan's Gwei Lun-mei was crowned best leading actress, the first Taiwanese to take the title in six years.

"I urge Taiwan's film (industry) to position itself globally," Kuan said in a statement.

"But the way the industry is currently focusing on the Chinese-language market means it relies on China's film policies, with little scope for the industry to expand."

Her remarks drew heated criticism from film industry people, including acclaimed director Hou Hsiao-hsien, who has won top awards at the international film festivals in Cannes and Venice.

"The Golden Horse is the most acclaimed award in the Chinese-language area and it is our biggest advantage. I urge those who speak the political language to... clear their heads and don't be so short-sighted," Hou told reporters.

Some movie fans also left angry messages on Kuan's Facebook page, demanding she apologise for trying to terminate the Golden Horse Awards.

"You are so narrow-minded. You want to terminate the awards because Taiwan didn't win so why not stop going to the Olympics, shut the doors and hold your own game to make sure Taiwan will win," one message read.

Agence France-Presse

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