The nominees for the 2013 Golden Horse Film Awards were announced on Oct. 1. Billed as the Academy Awards of Chinese-language films, the Golden Horse Awards received 265 submissions this year, including 122 features, 101 short films, 40 documentaries and 2 animation features.
The Hong Kong-Chinese martial arts film "The Grandmaster" led the pack with 11 nominations, including nominations for Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi in their leading roles.
The film about the life of Yip Man, a late grandmaster of the martial art Wing Chun, also garnered nods for best feature film, best director, best cinematography, best visual effects, best art direction, best makeup and costume design, best action choreography, best film editing, and best sound effects.
The other nominees in the best feature film category are Singaporean director Anthony Chen's "Ilo Ilo," Chinese director Jia Zhangke's "A Touch of Sin," Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang's "Stray Dogs" and Hong Kong director Johnnie To's "Drug War."
Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai, who picked up a nomination for "The Grandmaster," was joined in the best director category by Jia, Tsai, To and another Taiwanese director, Chung Mong-hong, for his film "Soul."
In the best lead actor category, Hong Kong's Tony Leung will go up against fellow countrymen Nick Cheung and Ka Fai Leung, China's Jimmy Wang Yu and Taiwan's Lee Kang-sheng.
Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi, meanwhile, will be competing for best leading actress with Hong Kong's Cherry Ngan and Sammi Cheng, as well as Taiwan's Gwei Lun-mei and Shu Qi.
Tying for the second-most nominations are the films "A Touch of Sin," "Unbeatable" and "Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons" with six nominations each. In third place is "Stray Dogs," which scored five nominations.
Judges spent a month reviewing 265 films, the most submissions the awards have ever received, said Wen Tien-hsiang, executive director of the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival Executive Committee.
This year, 37 films have been nominated for awards, more than the average of 30 nominations in past years, because there have been more outstanding films than usual, Wen said, adding that Taiwanese filmmakers and actors have had a particularly good showing.
For best leading actor and actress, the most contested categories, Taiwanese actors and actresses grabbed four out of the 10 nominations.
Wen noted changes taking place in the Chinese-language film industry. For example, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong are no longer the only places producing films in the language, as this year has also seen entrants from Southeast Asia, he pointed out.
Veteran Taiwanese director and chairman of the committee, Hou Hsiao-hsien, said the responsibility of the Golden Horse Awards is growing as its popularity and reputation have continued to rise since it began 50 years ago.
Fifty years is "a new start," Hou stated, expressing his hope for more Chinese-language films, including those from Taiwan, to get more exposure worldwide.
Taiwan-born director Ang Lee will be heading the jury of the awards, and the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Nov. 23 in Taipei.
The Golden Horse Awards and the accompanying Golden Horse Film Festival are organized by the Motion Picture Development Foundation of the R.O.C., the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival Executive Committee and the Ministry of Culture.
Watch the trailers for the best feature film nominees below and learn more about this year's awards here.
'Ilo Ilo' / Anthony Chen / Singapore
''A Touch of Sin' / Jia Zhangke / China
'The Grandmaster' / Wong Kar Wai / Hong Kong
'Stray Dogs' / Tsai Ming-liang / Taiwan
'Drug War' / Johnnie To / Hong Kong