Thursday, August 6, 2009

Chinese TV's Flying Apsaras Award nominees

The not-so-catchily title Flying Apsaras Awards (飞天奖) - I prefer the pinyin-titled Feitian Awards - have been described as the Chinese Emmys. Like the Emmys they recognise artistic merit, although (unlike the Emmys) "ideological value" is taken into account as well. Originally an annual award that was first given out in 1981, more recently they have been held every two years. This year's award, the 27th edition, will cover the period March 2007 to February 2009. For the upcoming awards, viewers were allowed to take part in the voting process through an online poll on the Sohu web portal.

A shortlist of nominees for Best Feature Drama, Best Actor and Best Actress has been announced, and include (according to this Chinese-language China Daily article):
Pathfinding to the North-east (闯关东), the 2008 epic series that narrates the struggles of migrants from Shandong who ventured to the harsh north-east region during the early decades of the 20th century.
Golden Marriage (金婚), a 2007 hit series about the 50-year marriage of a Chinese couple while providing a potted history of the Chinese People's Republic. It starred Zhang Guoli and Jiang Wenli as the husband and wife.
Soldiers Sortie (士兵突击), another smash hit from 2007, that made a star of Wang Baoqiang as a kind of Chinese Forrest Gump - a simple-minded soldier (nicknamed Idiot Number Three) who overcomes bullying and wins over everyone with his honesty and integrity.
The Legend of Bruce Lee (李小龙传奇) which premiered in October 2008 and attracted CCTV's highest ratings for a TV series since 2000. It starred Daniel Chan in the title role.

Other TV shows in the running include: Factory Girl (女工), Meditations on the White Birch Forest (静静的白桦林), Traffic Police (交通警察), Beautiful Thing (漂亮的事), Spring Grass (春草), Great Artisan (大工匠), Harbin Under the Curtain of Night (夜幕下的哈尔滨), The Struggle (奋斗)

Best Actor candidates are:
Sun Honglei (孙红雷)
Zhang Guoli (张国立)
Li Xuejian (李雪健)
Li Youbin (李幼斌)
Wang Baoqiang (王宝强) pictured right
Lin Yongjian (林永健)
Cheng Yu (程煜)
Jiao Huang (焦晃)
Wang Zhifei (王志飞)
Duan Yihong (段奕宏)

Best Actress candidates:
Sarina (萨日娜 Sa Ri Nuo)
Yan Ni (闫妮) (pictured left)
Yao Chen (姚晨)
Jiang Wenli (蒋雯丽)
Pan Yuchen (潘雨辰)
Wang Yajie (王雅婕)
Liu Jia (刘佳)
Chen Xiaoyi (陈小艺)
Wang Luodan (王珞丹)
Tao Hong (陶虹)

This English-language CCTV article identifies five "odds-on" favourites for the awards, namely Li Youbin, Zhang Guoli, Sun Honglei and Wang Baoqian amongst the male nominees, and Yan Ni as the female standout. Award winners will be announced in September.

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