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HONG KONG – Director Wong Kar Wai‘s martial arts epic The Grandmaster has been selected to be Hong Kong’s representative in the best foreign language film category at the 86th Academy Awards, the Federation of Motion Film Producers announced on Monday.
Starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai (Infernal Affairs, Lust, Caution) and Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; My Lucky Star), The Grandmaster was screened in Los Angeles during a special salute to Wong — whose other credits include Happy Together, In the Mood for Love and My Blueberry Nights — by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on July 22.
The drama, about the life of Wing Chun master Ip Man — kung fu icon Bruce Lee‘s martial arts mentor — was produced by Wong’s Jet Tone Films and Block 2 Pictures, Hong Kong’s Sil-Metropole Organisation and China’s Bona Film Group, and took six years in planning and three years in the making.
The film was released in January in Hong Kong and China. It took in $2.8 million (HK$22 million) in Hong Kong, and close to $49 million (300 million yuan) in China, making it the highest-grossing film in the director’s career. It also opened in the U.S. on Aug. 23, distributed by The Weinstein Co., and has grossed $6.3 million thus far.
The Grandmaster was chosen over two other finalists. MMA drama Unbeatable, which is the highest-grossing Chinese-language film in Hong Kong in 2013 so far, was also on the shortlist, as well as another drama about the life of the martial arts master, Ip Man: The Final Fight, directed by Herman Yau and starring Anthony Wong (The Painted Veil).
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