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Must-See Movies: The 5 Winners of The China Film Director’s Guild Awards

The 7th edition of the China Film Director’s Guild Awards (2015) has got China’s netizens talking. The five winners are the must-see movies from 2015.



The 7th edition of the China Film Director’s Guild Awards (2015) has got China’s netizens talking. The five winners are the must-see movies made in China in 2015.

Made in China films were the focus of attention at the annual China Film Director’s Guild Awards, that were held in Beijing on April 10, and were broadcasted live on TV by CCTV and online by Youku. The event became one of top trending topics on Sina Weibo today (#中国电影导演协会2015#), with netizens discussing the evening’s biggest winners (and what they were wearing).

LiKun One of the winners on the right: actress Bai Baihe (aka ‘Xiao Bai’), looking pretty in a Victoria Beckham dress from the 2016 spring collection. On the left is actress Li Kun.

Beijing movie Mr. Six (老炮儿) was the major winner of the night, getting the awards for best film, best director and best male actor. The Assassin (刺客聂隐娘) was the other winner for best original screenplay, and Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien (侯孝贤) winning the award for best director from Hong Kong/Taiwan.


The China Film Director’s Guild Awards are all about domestically produced films. This year the jury’s selection came from a total of 686 films. Here’s a list of the main awards, followed by a top 5 of China’s winning movies.

The Awards

• Best director: Guan Hu (管虎) for Mr. Six
• Best film: Mr. Six (‘老炮儿’)
• Best actor: Feng Xiaogang (冯小刚) for Mr. Six
• Best actress: Bai Baihe for Go Away Mr. Tumor (‘滚蛋吧!肿瘤君’)
• Best young director: Bi Gan (毕赣) for Kaili Blues (‘路边野餐’)
• Best screenplay: Ah Cheng (阿城) for The Assassin (‘刺客聂隐娘’)
• Jury’s Special Choice: Zhang Yang (张杨) for Paths of the Soul (‘冈仁波齐’)
• Best Outstanding Director: Huang Shuqin (黄蜀芹)
• Best Director from Hong Kong and Taiwan: Hou Hsiao-Hsien (侯孝贤)

The 5 Winning Movies

#1: Mr. Six (‘老炮儿’)

Crime drama revolving around “Mr. Six” (“Lao Pao Er”, Feng Xiaogang), an older Beijinger once known as the leading gangster of the neighbourhood. When his son gets into trouble, Mr. Six is confronted with the differences between the city’s modern underworld and his own gangster past. See the trailer:

According to Cinemasia: “Impeccably played by director-turned-actor Feng Xiaogang, MR. SIX’s stoic titular character eloquently encapsulates China’s struggle to uphold traditions in an era dominated by economical growth.”

#2: The Assassin (‘刺客聂隐娘’)

A drama and martial arts film about a female assassin who accepts a dangerous mission to kill a political leader in seventh-century China. This job puts the assassin in a conundrum, as the man she is supposed to kill is a love from her past. See the trailer:

According to The Telegraph, this is one of the “prettiest films you’ll ever see”.

#3: Go Away Mr Tumor (‘滚蛋吧!肿瘤君’)

Go Away Mr Tumor is a comedy and drama film based on the life of comic book artist Xiong Dun. She was the author of a popular web comic that focused on her battle with cancer.


Xiong died in 2012 at the age of 30. According to Variety, the film is “a slick, glossy but emotionally compelling and humorous portrait of a woman’s losing battle with cancer”.

#4: Kaili Blues (‘路边野餐’)

In the subtropical province of Guizhou, doctor Chen Sheng embarks on a journey to take care of his neglected nephew. The films has already won multiple awards abroad.


According to Hollywood Reporter, this film is “dreamy, poetry-filled and prone to veering off on tangents, the picture teases viewers with such self-assurance it’s difficult to believe the twentysomething director is a first-timer.”

#5: Paths of the Soul (‘冈仁波齐’)

Paths of the Soul could be called “docufiction” about Tibetans travelling 1,200 kilometers to the holy city of Lhasa. During their pilgrimage, they throw themselves to the ground every few metres.

paths of the soul

“One of the most gripping and thought-provoking pilgrimages in the history of film”, says IFFR. Director Zhang Yang is known for his previous films, including the 1999 much-praised Shower (洗澡) (-if you have never seen that one, make sure to also put it on your to-watch list!).

– By Manya Koetse

Featured image: promotion photo for Kaili Blues.

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at, or follow on Twitter.

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  1. Ed Sander

    April 11, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Recommendation for ‘Shower’ seconded!

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China Celebs

Weibo Shuts Down Rumors of Tong Liya’s Alleged Marriage to CMG President Shen Haixiong

The censorship surrounding the Tong Liya story almost drew more attention than the actual rumors themselves.



The famous actress and dancer Tong Liya (佟丽娅, 1983) has had an eventful year. After hosting the CCTV Spring Festival Gala in 2020, she performed at the CCTV Spring Festival Gala in February of 2021 and in May she announced that after seven years of marriage, she finalized her divorce with actor and director Chen Sicheng (陈思诚).

Tong Liya is of Xibe ethnicity and was born in Xinjiang. The former beauty pageant and award-winning actress is known for her roles in many films and TV series, such as those in The Queens and Beijing Love Story. She also starred in the 2021 Chinese historical film 1921, which focuses on the founding of the Communist Party of China.

This month, online rumors about Tong flooded the internet, alleging that she was recently remarried to Shen Haixiong (慎海雄, 1967), the deputy minister of the Party’s Central Propaganda Department and the President of the CMG (China Media Group), which includes CCTV, China National Radio, and China Radio International.

Some of the rumors included those claiming the actress was previously Shen’s mistress, or netizens connecting Tong Liya’s relations with such an influential and powerful person to her role at the previous CCTV Spring Gala Festival.

But these rumors did not stay online for long, and the quick censorship itself became somewhat of a spectacle. As reported by China Digital Times, the topic ‘Tong Liya’s Remarriage’ (‘佟丽娅再婚’) was completely taken offline.

Following the rumors and censorship, it first was announced that Tong reported the online rumors about her to the police, with the hashtag “Tong Liya Reports the Case to Authorities” (#佟丽娅报案#) receiving over 310 million clicks. On December 23rd, the hashtag “Beijing Police is Handling Tong Liya’s Report” (#北京警方受理佟丽娅报案#) went viral online, attracting over 1.7 billion (!) views on Weibo within three days.

The Beijing Haidian police statement on Weibo is as follows:

In response to the recent rumors on the Internet, the public security authorities have accepted Tong Liya’s report, and the case is now under investigation. The internet is not a place beyond the law, and illegal acts such as starting rumors and provoking trouble will be investigated and punished according to the law.”

The statement led to some confused responses among netizens who wanted to know more about what was actually reported and what it is the police are exactly ‘investigating.’

On Twitter, Vice reporter Viola Zhou wrote that the censorship “angered many young people,” some of whom lost their social media accounts for discussing Tong Liya’s second marriage: “It’s now prompting a mass pushback against the potential abuse of censorship power.”

In an attempt to circumvent censorship, and perhaps also ridicule it, some netizens even resorted to morse code to write about Tong Liya.

One Weibo post about the issue by Legal Daily received over 3000 comments, yet none were displayed at the time of writing.

The case is allegedly still being investigated by Beijing authorities.

By Manya Koetse

With contributions by Miranda Barnes.

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at

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China Celebs

China’s Livestreaming Queen Viya Goes Viral for Fraud and Fines, Ordered to Pay $210 Million

Viya, the Queen of Taobao, is under fire for tax evasion.



Viya, one of China’s most well-known and successful live streamers, is trending today for allegedly committing tax fraud by deliberately providing false information and concealing personal income.

The ‘Taobao queen’ Viya (薇娅, real name Huang Wei 黄薇) reportedly committed tax fraud from 2019 to 2020, during which she evaded some 643 million yuan ($100 million) in taxes and also failed to pay an additional 60 million yuan ($9.4 million) in taxes.

The Hangzhou Tax Administration Office reportedly ordered Viya to pay an amount of over 1.3 billion yuan ($210 million) in taxes, late payment fees, and other fines. On Monday, a hashtag related to the issue had garnered over 600 million views on Weibo (#薇娅偷逃税被追缴并处罚款13.41亿元#).

Viya made headlines in English-language media earlier this year when she participated in a promotional event for Single’s Day on October 20th and managed to sell 20 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) in merchandise in just one live streaming session together with e-commerce superstar Lipstick King.

China has a booming livestreaming e-commerce market, and Viya is one of the top influencers to have joined the thriving online sales industry years ago. When the e-commerce platform Taobao started their Taobao Live initiative (mixing online sales with livestreams), Viya became one of their top sellers as millions of viewers starting joining her channel every single day (she livestreams daily at 7.30 pm).

With news about Viya’s tax fraud practices and enormous fines going viral on Chinese social media, many are attacking the top influencer, as her tax fraud case seems to be even bigger than that of Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (范冰冰).

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing went “missing” for months back in 2018 when she was at the center of a tax evasion scandal. The actress was ordered to pay taxes and fines worth hundreds of millions of yuan over tax evasion. The famous actress eventually paid approximately $128,5 million in taxes and fines, less than Viya was ordered to pay this month.

Like Fan Bingbing, Viya will also not be held criminally liable if the total amount is paid in time. This was the first time for the e-commerce star to be “administratively punished” for tax evasion.

Around 5pm on Monday, Viya posted a public apology on her Weibo account, saying she takes on full responsibility for the errors she made: “I was wrong, and I will bear all the consequences for my mistakes. I’m so sorry!”

It is not clear if she will still do her daily live stream later today and how this news will impact Viya’s future career.

Update: Vaya’s live stream was canceled.

Update 2: Vaya’s husband also issued an apology on Weibo.

Update 3: Taobao has suspended or ‘frozen’ (“冻结”) Vaya’s livestreaming channel. Her Taobao store is still online.

By Manya Koetse

With contributions by Miranda Barnes.

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at

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