Oscars: Hong Kong Selects ‘The White Storm 2’ for International Feature Film Category

The White Storm 2: Drug Lords - STILL - 2019 H

Herman Yau's crime thriller, produced by and starring Andy Lau and Louis Koo on the opposing sides of a drug war, was the top earner at Hong Kong box office this summer.

The Federation of Motion Film Producers of Hong Kong has selected Herman Yau's crime thriller The White Storm 2 — Drug Lords as the country's submission to the international feature film category at the 2020 Oscars.  

Starring Andy Lau and Louis Koo as a billionaire anti-drug vigilante and a drug kingpin, respectively, the drama was directed by prolific veteran Herman Yau and concludes with a notable set-piece inside a major Hong Kong subway station. Although billed as a sequel, the film has no narrative relations to The White Storm (2013) except in title and the return of Koo.

Lau also took on producer duties, and his Focus Films co-produced with Hong Kong’s Universe Entertainment and Chinese partners including Guangdong Sublime Media.

Released in Hong Kong in July, it was the top-grossing local film with a box office take of over $3 million during a summer when the city was gripped by a series of demonstrations and protests against a proposed extradition bill that have evolved into a pro-democracy movement. White Storm 2’s popularity was more apparent in China, though, where it raked in $182 million.

The difficulty in choosing this year’s Hong Kong Oscar entry seems rather obvious because of limited choice. The number of Hong Kong films in theaters so far this year has totaled around 40, whereas over 200 imports have been released. Unlike past announcements of Hong Kong Oscar submissions, the Federation of Motion Film Producers of Hong Kong did not disclose a shortlist of films in consideration.

The 92nd Academy Awards are set to take place Feb. 9, 2020.