Andy Lau named best actor at Golden Horse
Taiwan's Golden Horse Film Festival, considered the "Oscars" of Chinese-language movies, was to wrap up Saturday with a glittering awards ceremony with Hong Kong's Andy Lau expected to take home the top acting award.
The cream of Asian acting talent was among more than 100 nominees up for prizes at the 41st annual Golden Horse Film Awards in the central city of Taichung.
Nominee Zhang Ziyi was among a number of big-name stars unable to attend the event.
Only about half of those nominated for awards will actually be at the ceremony due to their hectic shooting schedules, said Wang Ching-hua, chairman of the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival Executive Committee.
Hong Kong heart-throb Lau, tipped by industry watchers to win best actor, tops the list of stars who will tread the red carpet, while leading French director Olivier Assayas -- whose film "Clean" won the best actress award for his ex-wife Maggie Cheung at Cannes this year -- is also attending.
Arriving in Taiwan late Friday, Lau told reporters he was confident he would win after losing out to his "Infernal Affairs" co-star Leung last year.
But Lau, who repeated his role as a crooked detective in "Infernal Affairs 3", will again face stiff competition from fellow Hong Kong actor Leung, nominated for his lead role in acclaimed director Wong Kar-wai's "2046".
Local film critics say Taiwan's Yang Kuei-mei, nominated for her role in "The Moon Also Rises", and China's Zhang are the hot favourites for the best actress award.
Zhang, who is nominated for "2046" and who starred in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", will be absent from the ceremony.
In the best film category the epic romance "2046" is up against the China-made "Kekexili: Mountain Patrol" about antelope poaching.
Other films in contention are Johnnie To's "Breaking News" and Derek Yee's "One Nite in Mongkok", both made in Hong Kong, and "The Moon Also Rises" from Taiwanese director Lin Cheng-sheng.
Three Hong Kongers are also nominated for best director - Fruit Chan for "Three Extremes: Dumplings", Johnnie To and Derek Yee.
Also on the list is China's Lu Chuan for "Kekexili: Mountain Patrol."
However, Wong Kar-wai is not in contention despite his film taking the most nominations with eight.
Wang, from the festival committee, said many leading entertainers were unable to make the event because of hectic shooting schedules.
"It is quite common that more popular stars are absent as they might be busier making movies during this time of year," he said.
Organisers said late Friday that the Star Boulevard event would take place, despite earlier fears that the weather would make it a washout.
The ceremony's two moderators, local TV host Kevin Tsai and well-known model Lin Chih-ling, were also confident that the tropical storm would not hamper the event.
"Neither the rain nor the wind is going to stop the Golden Horse Award," Lin told reporters.
Golden Horse Awards categories are styled on the US Academy Awards, but are
decided by a jury along the lines of the independent-minded Cannes film