China Selects Peter Ho-Sun Chen’s ‘Leap’ With Gong Li As Oscar Entry

China has selected Peter Ho-Sun Chen’s volleyball drama Leap starring Gong Li as its international Oscar entry.

The film charts the story of the Chinese women’s national volleyball team and their ups and downs over multiple decades, including a world championship win in 1981 and a triumph at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Prolific filmmaker Chan has previously directed a string of critical and commercial hits. His musical Perhaps Love (2005) became the closing film at the 62nd Venice International Film Festival and was selected as Hong Kong’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar entry. The film was one of the highest-grossing films in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan of the year, honoured with 29 awards.

He is also well known for movies such as The Warlords, Bodyguards and Assassins, and martial arts film Wu Xia, which was the only Chinese language film to be invited into the Official Selection at the 64th Cannes Film Festival. His film American Dreams in China (2013) took US$90 million at the China box office and won Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor (Huang Xiaoming) at the 29th Golden Rooster Awards, while Dearest (2014) debuted at Venice. He is also working on a biopic of tennis player Li Na.

Leap, produced by Hong Kong’s Jojo Hui, beat out competition from the likes of patriotic war epic The Eight Hundred, which is the highest-grossing film in the world this year.

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