As the final Best Foreign Language Oscar submissions make their way to the AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) China has decided to select their French-collaboration The Nightingale (Ye Ying- Le Promeneur d’oiseau). Due to a late submission during China’s National Day holiday, Chinese Film Officials have yet to give formal word on the selection, THR reports, but are expected to at the beginning of the week.
With Ning Ning attached as co-writer and producer, Phillipe Muyl wrote and directed the feature, essentially adapting his French film The Butterfly to a Chinese context and the Mandarin language.
The film tells the simple tale of a grandfather (Li Baotian, Shanghai Triad) and his granddaughter (Xin Yi Yang) as they embark on a journey together through southwestern China with a caged bird in tow. As a family drama, this will be a unique submission when compared to early favorites such as Russia’s anti-Putin drama Leviathan, or Italy’s thriller Human Capital. China has never won the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards, where European films, specifically Italian, generally receive the most accolades; Italy’s The Grand Beauty was last year’s winner. The Nightingale, therefore, has a lot to contend with in order to make the 9-film short list, which will be announced with the Oscar Nominations on January 15, 2015.