december 19, 2016
The Chinese ceremony, held in Los Angeles for the second time, lured big time celebrities such as Natalie Portman, Mel Gibson and Sylvester Stallone — but not Johnny Depp, who was a no-show.
The 2016 Huading Awards, held Thursday at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, was no typical awards show – at least by usual Hollywood standards.
Although the ceremony was billed as the 21st edition, the Huading Awards was founded in 2007 by Tianxia Yingcai Cultural Media Company. China lacks a consensus prestige honor on par with the Oscars, and Huading is considered to be similar to the People’s Choice Awards, with winners ostensibly chosen by online audience vote. Of course, when it comes to the People’s Republic, these are the choices of 1.3 billion potential moviegoers – which explains why the likes of Natalie Portman, Mel Gibson and Hilary Swank showed up to accept their accolades.
Gibson, also campaigning this awards season, was game to engage with the audience – after all, Hacksaw Ridge topped the Chinese box office last week. Explaining that he named his production company, Icon, after the Greek word for "image," he remarked, "It's amazing that an image can bring us all together."