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Monga to represent Taiwan for Oscar foreign language race

Doze Niu’s hit gangland drama will now represent Taiwan to vie for the best foreign language film title at 83th Academy Awards, Taiwan’s Government Information Office (GIO) announced today.

The film, set in the 1980s, and starring Ethan Juan and Mark Chao will replace the previously chosen romantic drama Hear Me to participate in the Oscar race.

Hear Me, a film by Fen-fen Cheng, about a romance drama involving a hearing-impaired athlete, was originally chosen by the GIO to run for the best foreign-language title. But the GIO last week found that the film was released on Aug 25, 2009, one month earlier than the qualified release dates of the 2010 foreign language competition.  Films qualified for the selection of Oscar best foreign language nomination are to be released at local cinemas between October 2009 and September 2010.

Monga became a hit film in Febreuary in Taiwan and made a box-office gross of $8.44m (NT$270m), becoming the third-biggest Chinese-language film ever in Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Feng Xiaogang’s disaster drama Aftershock is likely to represent China to participate in the Oscar foreign language race. According to Huayi Brothers Media, the film’s producer and distributor, the company is in the final stage deciding the participation to the Oscar competition. Currently, State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), China’s government unit selecting the Oscar entry, is considering between Zhang Yimou’s love story Hawthorn Tree Forever and Aftershock, according to local Chinese media. Zhang Hongsen, deputy director of the Film Bureau under SARFT, told local media that apart from Hawthorn Tree Forever, the most suitable film to join the race was Feng’s Aftershock.

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