Oscar 2014: China Selects The Nightingale as its Foreign Language Entry

China has submitted The Nightingale (Ye Ying/Le promeneur d’oiseau), the second-ever official French-Chinese co-production, as the surprise candidate for best foreign language film at the 2015 Oscars

French director Philippe Muyl adapst his 2002 film about the bond-building journey between an old man and a young girl to rural, southwestern China.

“The movie was chosen shortly before the National Day public holiday and will be announced officially after the holiday,” the industry source said.

Starring Li Baotian, Yang Xinyi, Li Xiaoran and Qin Hao, The Nightingale is a Chinese take on Muyl’s last feature The Butterfly (Le papillon).

It was co-written by Muyl and Ning Ning, who also produced alongside Qin Hong, Paul Delbecq and Steve Rene.

China has never won the foreign-language category, although Taiwanese director Ang Lee won the category for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2000.

Among the big names mentioned were Jiang Wen Gone With The Bullets, Coming Home by Zhang Yimou and Wolf Totem by the French director Jean-Jacques Annaud.

None made the cut because of various issues, with both Bullets and Wolf Totem not screening in time to make the cut-off deadline, the source said.

Last year, Feng Xiaogang‘s Back to 1942 was submitted but by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, but it failed to make it on to the shortlist of nine movies from which the five Oscar nominees are chosen.

Zhang’s The Flowers of War, which featured Christian Bale, was chosen in 2011 but it didn’t win over the critics, despite box office success in China.

It was the seventh time one of Yimou’s films was submitted in the category.