South Korea’s attention understandably is focused elsewhere at the moment, but the country has put up the Oscar meter on A Taxi Driver: The historical drama is its official entry for the 2017 Foreign Language Film race. Well Go USA confirmed the news to Deadline.

Set during 1980 Gwangju Uprising, director Jang Hoon’s A Taxi Driver is based on a real-life local hero — an anonymous cabbie (Snowpiercer star Song Kang-ho) who drives a German journalist (Thomas Kretschmann) to Gwangju city and back so the reporter can broadcast details of the government’s murderous crackdown on a pro-democracy rebellion. After martial law is declared, students take to the streets, particularly in the southern city, where a military siege is on.

Showbox released the film locally, and it has made nearly $83M in South Korea, becoming the No. 1 film of 2017 there. Well Go USA opened A Taxi Driver in North America where it’s grossed $1.33M in four weeks.

Jang’s previous film, 2011’s The Front Line, also was his country’s Academy Award entry, but no South Korean film has drawn a nomination.

Here is the list of entries into the Foreign Language race so far:

2017 Foreign Language Film Oscar Submissions

  • Azerbaijan – Pomegranate Orchard – Ilgar Najaf
  • Belgium – Racer and the Jailbird – Michael R. Roksam
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina – Men Don’t Cry – Alena Drljevića
  • Croatia – Quit Staring at My Plate– Hana Jušić
  • Dominican Republic – Woodpeckers – José Maria Cabral
  • Finland Tom of Finland – Dome Karukoski
  • Georgia Scary Mother – Ana Urushadze
  • Germany – In The Fade – Fatih Akin
  • Iraq – The Dark Wind – Hussein Hussan
  • Latvia The Chronicles of Melanie – Viestur Kairish
  • Nepal – Seto Surya (White Sun) – Deepak Rauniyar
  • Palestine Wajib – Annemarie Jacir
  • Serbia Requiem for Mrs. J.– Bojan Vuletić
  • South Korea – A Taxi Driver – Jang Hoon
  • Sweden – The Square – Ruben Östlund
  • Switzerland – The Divine Order – Petra Volpe
  • Thailand – By the Time It Gets Dark – Anocha Suwichakornpong
  • Turkey – Ayla: The Daughter of War – Ca Ulkay