Ten days after director Feng Xiaogang's The Banquet finished shooting, the film's producer announced plans to make the film a 2007 Oscar candidate.
Wang Zhonglei, president of Huayi Brother, said "The exact screening date depends on when the post-shooting production is finished. What we are sure about is that it won't be the end of the year because The Banquet is running for next year's Oscar nomination."
To qualify as an Academy Award competitor for Best Foreign Language Film, a film has to be screened for at least a week before October, which means The Banquet will hit cinemas in late September.
The Banquet is China's commercial film director Feng’s latest after his New Year movie hits Cell Phone and A World Without Thieves. The two were No. 1 and No. 3 films in China in 2003 and 2004, making Feng one of the most successful commercial film directors in China. However, this time, Feng hasn't released The Banquet in time for the Chinese New Year, raising some doubts.
The Banquet, starring Asia's rising film star Zhang Ziyi and Zhou Xun, mainland actor Ge You and Hong Kong's Daniel Wu, has been described as a loose adaptation of Hamlet, featuring royal conflicts and revenge in 10th century China.
(Shenzhen Daily January 20, 2006)