Berlin Golden Bear winner Tuya's Marriage has withdrawn from Taiwan's Golden Horse Awards race.

Executive producer Wang Le made the official request to the Golden Horse organisers on Wednesday, just four days after nominations were announced.

The Mongolian-set drama was one of the highest profile entries set to compete at December's awards ceremony with nominations for best picture, best director, best leading actress and best original screenplay. The film is sold internationally by South Korea's Cineclick Asia.

Out of 73 feature films submitted to the awards, 14 were withdrawn by producers before the nominations were announced on Saturday. Of these, seven are understood to have pulled out only after receiving a letter from China's State Administration of Radio, Film and TV (SARFT) late last week.

Luan Guozhi, director of International Cooperation Dept. of the Film Bureau under SARFT explained to local press in China that 'according to the existing regulation... films purely invested by mainland companies are not allowed to participate in competition [at the Golden Horse Awards].'

Among the films withdrawn before nominations were announced on Saturday was Li Yu's Lost In Beijing which competed alongside Tuya's Marriage at the Berlin Film Festival in February. Diao Yi'nan's Night Train was earlier disqualified when producers failed to supply a Chinese-subtitled print.

With Tuya's Marriage out of the race, four films will now compete for best picture while just three entrants remain in the best leading actress and best director categories. Following events last year, when Tian Zhuangzhuang's The Go Master pulled out under similar circumstances, the award organisers will likely leave vacated slots empty.

It is understood that Li Yang, nominated in the best director category for Blind Mountain , has also been asked to pull out, even though his film is officially a co-production through Tang Splendour Films, his Hong Kong-based production company.

Li, who returned from the Hawaii International Film Festival yesterday, told Screen International that he would make a decision later this week.