Ne Zha has been announced as China’s selection for Best International Feature Film at the 2019 Oscars. The animated blockbuster, which has raked in almost RMB4.7 billion at the box office, gets the nod as China’s submission ahead of sci-fi flick, The Wandering Earth.
Ninety four countries sent submissions to the Academy for this year’s awards, with a record 93 submissions accepted for consideration. The films will be considered by an official Academy Award selection committee, which will vote in a secret ballot to short-list down to 10 films, before selecting five official nominees for the Oscar. The 10 shortlisted films will be announced on December 16 later this year, with that list set to be cut to five nominees in January 2020.
China first sent a submission to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1979. The country has since sent 33 submissions, with two nominations (Ju Dou and Hero) and zero wins.
Ne Zha tells the story of a rebellious young boy born with unique powers. It’s loosely based on the novel Fengshen Yanyi from the 1500s and took director Yang Yu five years to make.
This year has been quite successful for Chinese cinema, with two of the country’s top five highest grossing films of all time, Ne Zha and The Wandering Earth, released in 2019. However, it has been a good year for international cinema in general, with Ne Zha set to go up against the likes of South Korea’s Parasite and Pedro Almodovar’s Spanish flick Pain and Glory.
[Cover image via Enlight Pictures/IMDb]