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'2046' makers deny "Oscars" snub
Updated: 2004-11-25 11:00

Stars of Wong Kar-wai's acclaimed movie "2046" may skip Asia's glittering version of the Oscars next week, aides said, while denying the cast was snubbing the event in protest at Wong's absence from the best director nominees' list.

Hong Kong film director Wong Kar-wai, seen here in September 2004, has failed to make the best director nominees' list at Asia's glittering version of the Oscars. [AFP]
Although the Hong Kong-based director's epic romance leads the way with eight nominations, including best feature film, at the Chinese-language Golden Horse Film Awards in Taiwan, the acclaimed film-maker failed to get a nod.

With just over a week until the December 4 ceremony, however, none of the movie's nominated stars have confirmed they will walk down the red carpet, prompting media reports here and in Taiwan of a cast boycott.

Chinese actress Gong Li arrives for the official projection of Chinese director Wong Kar-Wai's '2046' at the 57th Cannes Film Festival. [AFP]
"At the moment, none of them have confirmed they will be there," confirmed Rita Chuang, head of marketing at Wong's Jet Tone production company in Hong Kong.

But she denied the actors were boycotting the event.

"We were surprised and puzzled that Wong himself was not nominated (for best director) but these are two different issues," Chuang said. "Wong can't possibly have control over the schedules of the stars who are occupied with their new projects."

The stars were all busy with other projects, she said, adding that it was "50-50" whether they would be there or not.

Tony Leung, who is vying for leading actor, is filming in South Korea, Chuang said, while Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi, nominated for leading actress, is in the United States shooting the Hollywood adaptation of "Memoirs of a Geisha".

Awards organisers also denied the reports and sought to scotch growing fears the ceremony would lack star quality because of their absence.

"Zhang Ziyi has said she wants very much to come, and is still making arrangements," said Awards spokeswoman Zoe Chen. "So is Sylvia Chang Ai-chia."

She also said Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan was "almost sure to come".

Golden Horse Awards categories are styled on the Academy Awards, but are decided by a jury along the lines of the independent-minded Cannes film festival.

A total of 21 awards will be handed out at a glittering ceremony in the central Taiwanese city of Taichung.

Wong's opus faces stiff competition for best film from two other Hong Kong movies -- Johnnie To's "Breaking News" and Derek Yee's "One Nite in Mong Kok" -- as well as China-made "Kekexili: Mountain Patrol" and Taiwan's "The Moon Also Rises".

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