|www.chinaview.cn 2007-12-15 08:10:27|
Chinese Director Zhang Yimou (L) was among nine winners of the "Green Chinese" awards, a government environmental prize, on Friday for his engagement in environmental protection. (Xinhua Photo)
BEIJING, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Director Zhang Yimou was among nine winners of the "Green Chinese" awards, a government environmental prize, on Friday for his engagement in environmental protection.
The Academy Award-winning director was "following eco-friendly rules during movie shooting and highlighting green issues as the chief director for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in 2008," according to the award citation.
The annual award this year has focused on the protection of water after a series of major water pollution incidents.
The award winners, considered environment protection "role models," include: Wang Yongchen, the founder of non-governmental Green Earth Volunteers; Chai Jing, a China Central Television journalist, who has conducted in-depth reports on environmental issues; Zhao Xihai, a retired worker who has planted hundreds of thousands of trees over the past decade.
The award, co-sponsored by seven Chinese government departments, including the State Environmental Protection Administration and the Ministry of Culture, and supported by the United Nations Environment Program, was established in 2005.
The award caught public attention last year as a result of the controversial "negative example" nomination of Chinese film directors Chen Kaige and Zhang Jizhong, though neither made it to the final short list.
Chen's film, "The Promise," damaged the environment near a pristine lake shore in Shangri-la, in southwest China's Yunnan Province, and the film company behind Zhang's film was accused of damaging the environment in the Jiuzhaigou National Park, in Sichuan Province, during shooting.
Zhang later agreed to make a documentary to compensate. Chen was fined as a result of his film damaging the environment.
Many netizens described the nomination of the directors as an outrageous irony, saying Chen's movie had focused mass attention on environmental protection.
"Negative examples" and "controversial figures" have for the first time being added to the nominations to serve as a warning, according to the organizing committee.
All candidates went through several selection rounds, started as early as September, and public voting, before the announcement of the final result on Friday evening.