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4 China-related films that were nominated or won at this year’s Oscars

Chinese production companies, Chinese filmmakers and a documentary about a Chinese billionaire setting up a factory in Ohio

Image: courtesy California Institute of the Arts
There’s something you probably don’t know about this year’s Oscar nominations. As it turns out, quite a number of films were co-produced by Chinese entertainment companies, made by Chinese filmmakers, shot in China or even are about China. Here is our roundup of all of these in this year’s Oscars.
Harriet

Harriet

Bad luck for the talented actor and singer Cynthia Erivo who didn’t win last night, neither for her performance in Kasi Lemmons’s historic biopic Harriet, nor for her co-writing and performance of ‘Stand Up’ from the same film. But it’s nevertheless good exposure for the Beijing-based entertainment company, Perfect World Pictures. The company’s past productions include highly acclaimed films such as Darkest Hour and BlacKkKlansman.

American Factory

American Factory

One of the biggest moments belonged to Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s documentary American Factory, the first production from Barack and Michelle Obama's production company Higher Ground. The documentary follows a Chinese billionaire’s journey to set up a glass production factory in an abandoned GM factory and how the initial enthusiasm and gratefulness of the local working class were met with a vastly different managerial style and corporate culture.

Sister

Sister

A less acknowledged category of the Oscars indeed, but it is hard not to notice that one of the nominations went to the Chinese writer and director Siqi Song and her stop-motion animation Sister. The story follows a man’s recount of growing up with his imaginary little sister who could have been born in the 1990s due to the nation’s one-child policy. Drawing inspirations from her training in ink painting as a child, Song’s black-and-white setting is livened by the puppets made of wool, a unique texture to work with. The result is a poignant film that captures a woeful time in the country’s history.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

The always amicable Tom Hanks didn’t win best supporting actor, but it doesn’t stop us loving his portrayal of the saintly Mr Rogers in Marielle Heller’s heart-warming story about the friendship between the famous children’s TV host and a journalist. The movie is co-produced by Chinese company Tencent Pictures, which in recent years has been actively involving in projects such as Terminator: Dark Fate, Men In Black: International, Bumblebee, Venom and the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick and Monster Hunter

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