Chen Kaige gets controversial "Green Chinese" nomination
Updated: 2006-10-31 21:45
Chinese director Chen Kaige, whose movie "The Promise"
allegedly caused environmental damage to a pristine Shangri-la lakeside during
shooting, has been nominated for the country's "Green Chinese" award.
May, producers of the 340-million-yuan (US$42 million) film were fined 90,000
yuan (US$11,250) for destroying vegetation near Bigu Lake in Shangri-la county
in China's southwest Yunnan province, according to the State Environmental
Protection Administration (SEPA).
The "Green Chinese" annual award is
co-sponsored by seven government departments and supported by the United Nations
Environment Program (UNEP), which selects five to ten Chinese who have made
great contribution to protecting the environment.
"Sometimes a negative
example can serve as a warning," said Wang Panpu, deputy director of the
committee, when asked whether the nomination of Chen, who picked up an Oscar
nomination for directing "Farewell, My Concubine", contradicted the objectives
of the award.
After the award's organizing committee announced a list of
253 nominations, which included Chen and Chinese television director Zhang
Jizhong, Chinese Internet users posted furious comments on-line.
described it as an outrageous irony in China's efforts to protect the
environment. "How can Chen be nominated? If a bad example like him can be
nominated, then traitors should be nominated as heroes in the same sense," read
one comment on Netease.com.
The award allowed Internet users to submit
their own nominations and the committee checked to see if the nominees were
eligible, according to a spokeswoman for the organizing committee. "Chen was
nominated by more than 200 Internet voters," she said.
users wrote that Chen was a negative example and if it wasn't for his movie,
there wouldn't have been such a huge debate about environment protection," she
"We fully respect the Internet user's nominations because we want
to get the public participation in choosing the country's green heroes," she
She said some Internet nominations were canceled because the
committee found they were not true.
Chinese director Zhang Jizhong is
also on the nominee list. He was accused of causing environmental damage in
China's World Heritage-listed Jiuzhaigou National Park when filming "The Legend
of the Condor Heroes", for which he has apologized.
"We must admit that
we made a mistake," Zhang told the Beijing News. "We are doing quite well (in
terms of environmental protection) for this new show and we will do even better
in the future."
A shortlist of 24 nominees will be published on November
25 and the winners will be announced on December 2 after committee reviews,
surveys and Internet votes.
The 2005 "Green Chinese" award went to five
people. Tian Guirong, a peasant from central China's Henan province who set up a
environment volunteer group there; Wang Canfa, a university professor who offer
free legal aid to victims of pollution; Liang Congjie, head of a
non-governmental organization who actively advocated for protection of the
Tibetan antelope; Zhao Yongxin, a journalist who first disclosed the
anti-infiltration project in the ruins of Beijing's imperial garden
Yuanmingyuan; and Liang Liming, environment department chief of the north
China's Shanxi province, who devoted in improving the air quality in the
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