Oscars: Taiwan Selects ‘Dear Ex’ for International Feature Film Category

DEAR Studio
'Dear Ex'

The selection of Mag Hsu and Hsu Chih-yen's gay-themed drama swept the Golden Horse Awards and Taipei Film Awards and was released on the heels of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan in May.

Taiwan’s Motion Picture and Drama Association has selected gay drama Dear Ex as its submission for the international feature film category at the 2020 Oscars.

Co-directed by veteran TV writer Mag Hsu and newcomer Hsu Chih-yen, Dear Ex follows a recently bereaved widow who discovers that her late husband left his inheritance to a gay lover. The widow and the lover are drawn into a dispute — with a son torn between the sides. The film stars Roy Chiu, Ying-Xuan Hsieh, Spark Chen and Joseph Huang.

Dear Ex premiered at the Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, last April. It later appeared at the Taipei, Busan and Macau film festivals, among others. In November, it received a theatrical release at home in Taiwan courtesy of Warner Bros. Among its honors were a best actress award for Hsieh at the Golden Horse Awards and best director for Mag Hsu and Chih-Yen Hsu at the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival. The film went four for four at the Taipei Film Awards, including best feature film, best actor and best actress.

In January, Netflix acquired global digital rights to Dear Ex and started streaming it in February. 

Dear Ex struck a chord in Taiwan as the country embraced same-sex marriage. In May 2017, Taiwan’s court ruled that same-sex marriage is constitutional, and a bill was passed two years later making it legal. It was the first time such a law was passed in Asia.

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