HEROES OF NANKING completes filming; set for Toronto sale
Zhang Yimou’s HEROES OF NANKING just finished principal photography. Derived from Yan Geling’s novel, the $100 million-budgeted period epic accounts for an American priest in Nanking using his church to shelter prostitutes and schoolgirls from harm during an intense battle. The film stars recent Oscar winner Christian Bale as the priest, so financial hopes are quite high for the film.
Thompson on Hollywood reports that Glen Basner of FilmNation is expected snag global distributors for HEROES OF NANKING at the Toronto International Film Festival this September. This also includes a North American distributor to release the film stateside in enough time to join the Oscar fray.
Approximately 60% of the film’s dialogue is in the Mandarin language, with the other 40% in English. If it has a qualifying run before October, it’ll be eligible for the Foreign Language Feature Oscar if submitted by China for that race. If there’s no interest in that particular race, HEROES OF NANKING needs only a qualifying run before the year ends to be a contender in other Oscar races.
China might decide to submit another project for Foreign Language Feature, which would make perfect sense because countries’ submissions often prove to be surprising. What’s more, TIFF kicks off on September 8 and ends just ten days later, so organizing a Foreign Language Feature-qualifying run would be cutting it close.
HEROES OF NANKING qualifying for the general Oscar race, however, seems very likely, as there’ll be more time to organize promotions and an Oscar campaign.