China has selected Chen Kaige’s Forever Enthralled as its entry for the best foreign-language film category of the Academy Awards, while the Philippines has picked Soxie Topacio’s Grandfather Is Dead.
Chen has represented China twice before in the Oscars’ foreign-language race with Farewell My Concubine, which made it to the final five, and fantasy epic The Promise.
Forever Enthralled, a biopic of Peking opera singer Mei Lanfang, stars Leon Lai and Zhang Ziyi. Produced by China Film Group, Taiwan’s CMC Entertainment and Hong Kong’s Emperor Motion Pictures, the film had a strong run at the mainland box office before screening at this year’s Berlin.
The Film Academy of the Philippines selected Grandfather Is Dead (Ded Na Si Lolo) from a shortlist of a dozen movies.
Produced by APT Entertainment and the Directors Guild of the Philippines, the dark comedy stars child actor BJ Forbes as a youngster who notes the many rituals followed by his family in the six days following his grandfather’s death.
The film also stars Elizabeth Oropesa, Gina Alajar, Roderick Paulate, Manilyn Reynes and Dick Israel.