A film from China that has upset censors for dealing with sensitive issues leads the nominations for Taiwan's annual Golden Horse Awards, seen as the Chinese-language "Oscars", organisers said Tuesday.
"Mystery", which touches on controversial topics such as police corruption and the behaviour of China's new rich, led with eight nominations, including best picture, best director for Lou Ye, and best leading actress for Hao Lei.
Chinese media said censors demanded Lou cut the violent ending where the male lead bludgeons a garbage collector to death with a hammer. He refused until a compromise was reached and he agreed to darken the scene.
Lou is no stranger to controversy. Another of his movies, "Summer Palace", was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006 without the Chinese government's approval, causing it to be banned at home.
Taiwan love story "Gf*Bf", also released as "Girlfriend Boyfriend", follows closely with seven nods, including best film, best director, best leading actress and best leading actor for Joseph Chang.
Chang faces stiff competition from Hong Kong's top acting talents, including Lau Ching-wan ("Life Without Principle"), Chapman To "(Vulgaria") as well as former Golden Horse winner Nick Cheung ("Nightfall") and heart-throb actor Nicholas Tse ("The Viral Factor").
Acclaimed Hong Kong director Johnnie To's financial drama "Life Without Principle" and Chinese black comedy "Design of Death", shot in the location of a devastating earthquake in Sichuan province in 2008, each has six monitions.
Winners for the 49th annual awards will be announced on November 24 in a gala ceremony to be co-hosted by Chinese actor Huang Bo, the first ever Chinese to host the show.