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Hong Kong’s Motion Picture Industry Association has selected Zero to Hero, a family sports drama from director Jimmy Wan Chi-man, as Hong Kong’s entry in the best international feature race at the 2022 Academy Awards.
The film is based on the real-life story of Hong Kong runner So Wa-wai, who was born with cerebral palsy to an impoverished family but went on to set numerous world records and win 12 Paralympic medals between 1996 and 2012.
The film has proved a popular crowd pleaser at home in Hong Kong, where it remains on release and is already the city’s top-grossing local movie this year, having earned a little over $3.5 million and counting.
Three actors play So at different ages in the biopic — Choi Tin-nok, Fung Ho-yeung, Leung Chung-hang — while his mother is portrayed by actress Sandra Ng, who also is a producer on the film.
Produced by One Cool Films, Zero to Hero made its world premiere at the pioneering Fast East Film Festival in Udine, Italy earlier this year ahead of its commercial release in Hong Kong in August.
Since first entering the Oscar competition in 1959, Hong Kong has submitted 36 films for the Academy Award for best international feature film. To date, three Hong Kong submissions have earned nominations in the category: Zhang Yimou’s Raise the Red Lantern (1991), Chen Kaige’s Farewell My Concubine (1993) and Derek Tsang’s crime drama Better Days (2020).
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