China has selected historical epic Xuan Zang as its contender in the best foreign-language category at the 89th Academy Awards, The Hollywood Reporter reveals.
The film, directed by Huo Jianqi, depicts the legendary seventh-century spiritual journey of Buddhist monk Xuanzang from China to India. Huang Xiaoming plays the monk who took 17 years to complete his journey.
Despite critical favor, Xuan Zang made only $5 million at the Chinese box office.
Produced by Wong Kar-wai, Xuan Zang is notable as the first major China-India co-production. China Film Corporation and India’s Eros International are the main producers behind the film.
The story of Xuanzang has been a popular one for Chinese cinema in recent years, being the basis, although with a fantastical bent, of The Monkey King franchise, comedy Journey to the West and the animated hit Monkey King: Hero Is Back.
China has been nominated twice in the best foreign-language film category at the Oscars, but it has never won.