Oscars season is here, and the Academy has released shortlists for the 2021 awards — which include two Chinese films.
Shortlists were released for nine categories of awards; multiple rounds of voting will determine which shortlisted films go on to receive the final five nominations.
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The Chinese film Better Days, by Hong Kong director Derek Kwok-Cheung Tsang, is a contender in the International Feature Film category.
Focusing on school bullying in China, the film was initially censored before making an epic comeback. It went on to gross $227.3 million worldwide, and received critical acclaim for its bold and unflinching portrayal of bullying.
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Meanwhile, director Hao Wu’s 76 Days is getting noticed in the Documentary category. The poignant film chronicles the early stages of the pandemic in Wuhan, as patients and frontline medical staff fought to get the city through a 76-day lockdown period.
The cut-and-paste documentary has received plenty of international attention since its release, with some critics speculating that its humanizing narrative could cinch it an award.
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In a somewhat lighter Covid-themed acknowledgment, “Wuhan Flu,” from Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat: Subsequent Movie Film, is in the running for a best song nomination.
Speaking about the satirical song, Sacha Baron Cohen’s older brother and the song’s writer, Erran Baron Cohen, told The Hollywood Reporter that he would love to perform it at the Oscars, and that it would “make it the most interesting Oscars ceremony ever.”
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