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Starting in the mid-1980s, excellent films were made in China noted for their realism such as Old Stories of the South of the City, Wild Mountain, A Town Called Hibiscus, The Inauguration of the People's Republic of China and Decisive Battles. The directors of these films were China's so-called "fifth-generation" of film directors including Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige and Huang Jianxin. The late 1990s saw the emergence of a "sixth-generation" of directors born in the 1960s and 1970s, such as Wang Xiaoshuai, Zhang Yuan and Lou Ye, whose films tended to focus on the everyday life of ordinary people. The top prize for Chinese films is the "Golden Rooster Award." In 2003 the Best Film of the Year in China was shared by Nuan and Stormy Waves while the best director award went to Zhang Yimou for Hero. The Ornamental Pillar Award was established by the government to encourage the development of mainstream movies. In addition, there is the Hundred Flowers Award, given on the basis of the audiences' votes. The Changchun and Shanghai international movie festivals are influential international film festivals in China.

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