The Taiwanese blockbuster Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale has made the Oscar shortlist for a 2012 Academy Award for best foreign-language film.
The epic, which tells the story of a violent uprising against Japanese colonialists by Aboriginal tribes in 1930, is one of nine foreign-language films that have made the cut for consideration in the foreign-language category at this year’s Oscars.
The four-and-a-half-hour film won the Best Feature Film at last year’s Golden Horse Awards, the Taiwanese equivalent of the Oscars.
Wei Te-sheng (魏德聖), the film’s director, said in a short message that he was very excited to learn that his NT$600 million (US$19.72 million) production had been listed for an Oscar nomination.
“I’m so happy, I can’t even sleep,” he said.
The movie’s executive producer, Jimmy Huang (黃志明), said the film screened to the Oscar judges was the full-length version and not a 155-minute cut that premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in November last year.
“We wanted to convey our filming concepts and historical vision by screening the full-length version, and received an encouraging response from film critics,” Huang said in an interview with Taiwanese journalists after learning of the film being listed for an Oscar nomination.
Also on the 2012 Oscar shortlist is Iran’s A Separation from writer-director Asghar Farhadi, which won the Golden Globe for best foreign-language film last weekend and has been racking up plaudits from the critics.
The seven other contenders are from Canada, Belgium, Germany, Israel, Morocco and Poland.
A total of 63 films were vying for this year’s foreign-language Oscar nominations. The organizers have invited a panel of judges from New York and Los Angeles to select five for nomination from among the nine shortlisted films.
The nominations will be announced on Tuesday, with the winner presented with an Oscar at a ceremony on Feb. 26.