TAIPEI • The Golden Rooster wants to be at the top of the pecking order in the Chinese movie world.

The awards show in China will now be held annually, instead of once in two years, in a bid to overtake Taiwan's Golden Horse – long seen as the Oscars of the Chinese film industry.

This year, both events are set for a showdown tomorrow, with the Golden Horse losing some momentum after politics stepped into the picture.

Beijing banned the country's films and stars from taking part in the rival ceremony in Taipei, after a winner last year, Taiwanese director Fu Yue, voiced hopes that Taiwan "will one day be treated as a genuine independent entity".

China regards self-governing Taiwan as part of its territory.

Beijing has also flexed its muscles with unconfirmed reports that it will ban any movie in the running for a Golden Horse from the huge, lucrative Chinese market.

That fear apparently forced the producers of hit Hong Kong releases such as The White Storm 2 – Drug Lords, starring Andy Lau and Louis Koo, and Line Walker 2: Invisible Spy, starring Nick Cheung and Francis Ng, to pull out from the Golden Horse.

Hong Kong director Johnnie To quit his post as president of the jury selecting the prize winners while carmaker Maserati yanked its support for the Taipei event.

But pundits believe that the Golden Rooster will also take time to be a standout, given that the Golden Horse is already into its 56th edition tomorrow. The Golden Rooster has been held 31 times since 1981.

Both camps have their work cut out for them. Without Chinese films, the Golden Horse cannot argue that the prize winners are the most deserving.

Beijing stands to lose the prestige from the nation's film-makers making a mark at the Golden Horse, which has a higher global profile than the Golden Rooster.

The latter is seen by many as a platform for "acceptable" works rather than releases that push the envelope in exploring issues.

What the Golden Rooster is not lacking is star power, with the likes of Jackie Chan, Zhang Yimou and Wu Jing attending this year's opening ceremony in Xiamen on Tuesday.

Over in Taipei, the absence of Chinese movies has opened the doors for South-east Asian talent, with Singapore's Wet Season and Malaysia's The Garden Of Evening MiRead More – Source