Chinese director Zhang Yimou's spy thriller Cliff Walkers received seven nominations in six categories, including for Best Picture, at the 34th edition of the Golden Rooster Awards.
Zhang, 71, was nominated for Best Director at China's top film awards. He had previously won the accolade in 1999, 2000 and 2003.
The film stars Yu Hewei and Zhang Yi, who will compete for Best Actor.
They are up against Chinese singer Jackson Yee (A Little Red Flower), Liu Ye (Island Keeper) and Guo Xiaodong (My Father Jiao Yulu), the China Film Association said in a press release on Monday (Nov 29).
Ciff Walkers was also nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Sound Recording and Best Art Direction.
Cliff Walkers is Zhang Yimou's first foray into the spy genre. Set in the 1930s in northeast China's Harbin before the eruption of World War II, the film follows special agents from the Communist Party of China as they try to complete a secret mission.
The other nominees for Best Film are medical drama Chinese Doctors, anthology film My People, My Homeland, biographical film Island Keeper, coming-of-age drama Sister and historical drama The Pioneer.
Rising actress Liu Haocun, who also starred in Cliff Walkers, was nominated for Best Actress for A Little Red Flower.
She is up against Zhang Xiaofei (Hi, Mom), Zhang Zifeng (Sister) and Liu Mintao (Let Life Be Beautiful).
Other notable nods include actress-director Jia Ling for Best Directorial Debut for tearjerker Hi, Mom and Hong Kong actor Nicholas Tse for Best Supporting Actor for crime action film Raging Fire.
For the first time, five foreign films will compete for Best International Film, including Oscar-winning psychological drama The Father and Persian Lessons, a joint production of Russia, Germany and Belarus.
Launched in 1981, the Golden Rooster Awards is sponsored by the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles and the China Film Association. This year's ceremony will be held in Xiamen, Fujian province, from Dec 28 to 30. – Xinhua