Here’s another title that started its career in Cannes and now has been selected to rep its country in the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race. Taiwan has gone with master filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin. The film won Hou the Best Director prize in Cannes and next will travel to Toronto, the New York Film Festival and Fantastic Fest. It opens in U.S. theaters on October 16 courtesy of Well Go USA. (For a running chart of Foreign Language submissions, see below.)

A take on the traditional wuxia film, the story is set in 9th century China. Nie Yinniang is a young woman who was abducted as a child from a decorated general and raised by a nun who trained her in the martial arts. After 13 years of exile, she is returned to the land of her birth as an exceptional assassin, with orders to kill her husband-to-be. She must confront her parents, her memories and her long-repressed feelings in a choice between sacrificing the man she loves or breaking forever with the sacred way of the righteous assassins.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture made the decision, saying today: “The Assassin was selected because the film’s technical aspect has reached a pinnacle. The film conveys a classical atmosphere and humanity through its cinematography, lighting, art direction and character modeling. Director Hou Hsiao-hsien’s film techniques have remained the same, but the film shows Hou’s strong ambition to create a new film language and style.”

This is Hou’s first feature since 2007’s Flight Of The Red Balloon. He previously was chosen to rep Taiwan at the Academy Awards in 1998 with Flowers Of Shanghai and in 1989 for A City Of Sadness, neither of which was nominated. Ang Lee is the only director to win this Oscar for Taiwan with 2000’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

  • 2o15 Foreign Language Film Oscar Submissions

  • AustriaGoodnight Mommy – Severin Fiala/Veronika Franz
  • BosniaOur Everyday Life – Ines Tanovic
  • BulgariaThe Judgement – Stephan Komandarev
  • ChileThe Club – Pablo Larrain
  • ChinaWolf Totem – Jean-Jacques Annaud
  • CroatiaThe High Sun – Dalibor Matanic
  • Dominican RepublicSand Dollars – Laura Amelia Guzmán/Israel Cárdenas
  • FinlandThe Fencer – Klaus Haro
  • Germany Labyrinth Of Lies – Giulio Ricciarelli
  • GreeceXenia – Panos H. Koutras
  • GuatemalaIxcanul – Jayro Bustamente
  • HungarySon Of Saul – Laszlo Nemes
  • IcelandRams – Grímur Hákonarson
  • IraqMemories On Stone – Shawkat Amin Korki
  • Japan100 Yen Love – Masaharu Take
  • JordanTheeb – Naji Abu Nowar
  • KazakhstanStranger – Ermek Tursunov
  • LuxembourgBaby(a)lone – Donato Rotunno
  • NetherlandsThe Paradise Suite – Joost van Ginkel
  • NorwayThe Wave – Roar Uthaug
  • PalestineThe Wanted 18 – Paul Cowan/Amer Shomali
  • PanamaBox 25 – Mercedes Aria & Delfina Vidal
  • ParaguayCloudy Times – Arami Ullon
  • PortugalArabian Nights: Volume 2 – The Desolate One – Miguel Gomes
  • RomaniaAferim! – Radu Jude
  • SerbiaEnclave – Goran Radovanović
  • South KoreaThe Throne – Lee Joon-ik
  • SwedenA Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence – Roy Andersson
  • SwitzerlandIraqi Odyssey – Samir
  • TaiwanThe Assassin – Hou Hsiao-hsien
  • VenezuelaGone With The River – Mario Crespo