Jun Ji-Hyun and Tony Leung rumoured to star in ‘Ferryman’

June 29th, 2014 • 4 comments

jun ji hyun

Apple Daily:

Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-wai has approached South Korean star Jun Ji-Hyun to star opposite Tony Leung Chiu-wai in his next movie, ‘Ferryman‘.

The actress is keen to work with the award-winning Grandmaster director, but is committed to another film project, Apple Daily said. Wong’s shoot is set to start in September in Nanjing, whereas Jun has a shoot at the end of the year for the film ‘Assassination‘.  Ferryman is a romance based on a Chinese short story by writer Zhang Jiajia.

Jun, who shot to international fame in 2001′s ‘My Sassy Girl’, could play Ah Yu, a young woman who is in love with painter Ma Li, to be played by Leung.

Wong is planning to cast ‘Lust, Caution’ actress Tang Wei as Ma Li’s unfaithful former wife, and Taiwanese-Japanese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro as Zhang.

A spokesman for Wong’s Jet Tone Films said that filming was to begin later this year, but did not name any of the cast. “I can only say that the actors we are talking to are heavyweights,” she said.

Song Hye Kyo, the South Korean actress who played the wife of Ip Man (Leung) in The Grandmaster, had found working with the director difficult. The film was 10 years in the making, and shooting took three years. All the actors said the filming was arduous and Song was said to be unhappy with the time-consuming shoot. The language barrier was also an issue for her, and may surface again should Jun be cast.

Wong Kar-wai to adapt “I Belonged To You”

June 23rd, 2014 • Comments Off

Wong Kar Wai

According to a new report from Hong Kong’s The Standard, Wong Kar-wai will shoot his next film in 2015. Mei Ah Entertainment are producing, with their chief executive Patrick Tong Hing-chi hinting it will be a romantic movie, adding that the main actor is someone “all women are crazy about.” Tong refused to say whether it is another collaboration with Tony Leung Chiu-wai, who has starred in seven of Wong’s eleven movies.

Filmbiz:

Wong Kar-wai is set to adapt a short story from the collection I Belonged to You 從你的全世界路過 for his next film. Author Zhang Jiajia confirmed the news yesterday on his Weibo microblog.

Originally published on the internet as “bedtime stories”, the book is divided into 38 chapters. It is described as a “cluttered” collection of love stories written in the style of a “friend narrating his tales to you in the middle of the night.”

Wong is adapting the chapter called 擺渡人 (literally Ferryman), about an affair between a girl and a married artist in Changchun. Rights for individual chapters of the book have reportedly been sold to other film companies, but Wong’s adaptation is the first that has been officially announced by Zhang himself.

According to its publisher, stories from the book have been reposted 1.5 million times on Chinese microblogs. In book form it has reportedly sold over two million copies. Zhang previously co-wrote the script of Wuershan’s The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman.

Zhang wrote that the film is set to begin shooting soon with a very strong cast. Earlier this month,Mei Ah’s Patrick Tong told local media that Wong was preparing to shoot a romance in 2015.

ZHANG Jiajia

‘The Grandmaster’ Wins 12 Awards at 2014 Hong Kong Film Awards

April 16th, 2014 • Comments Off

zhang hkfa

On.cc:

The 33rd Annual Hong Kong Film Awards was held on April 13 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre. With the most nominations of 14, ‘The Grandmaster‘ won 12 awards to become the big winner and broke the 9 award records that ‘Comrades, Almost A Love Story‘ and ‘Cold War‘ held. It won Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Action Choreography, Best Original Score, Best Sound Effects. Zhang Ziyi won her 9th Best Actress award for the film while Nick Cheung‘s performance in ‘Unbeatable‘ defeated Tony Leung for Best Actor.

Zhang Ziyi won the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress for the second time after previously winning for ‘2046‘. As the awards presenter for Best Actress, Nick Cheung praised all the nominees including Zhang Ziyi, Tang Wei, and Paw Hee-ching, before announcing the year’s grand winner. Regarding Zhang Ziyi, he remarked, “Everyone calls her ‘International Zhang’. I noticed she has already reached international levels when I watched her outstanding performance in ‘The Grandmaster’ for the first time. She has a very high chance of receiving the award.” Adding to the exciting atmosphere, Nick spilled one of ‘The Grandmaster’s’ classic quotes to reveal Zhang Ziyi as the winner. In all smiles, Zhang Ziyi took turns hugging her costars including Tony Leung, Chang Chen, Max Zhang, Ada Choi, and director Wong Kar-wai, before heading onstage to claim her award. In midst of taking deep breaths, she uttered her speech of gratitude towards the cast and crew of ‘The Grandmaster’:

“Thank you the people of Hong Kong for your encouragement and recognition, thank you Leung Chiu-wai. No matter tonight who goes home with the award, he will forever be the Best Actor in my heart. In 2009, Wong Kar-wai approached me about this film. I was so happy that I was jumping around like a rabbit when I told my parents, not because making Wong Kar-wai’s film could lead to an award but because his films would show an actor’s most excellent side. During the three years in production, I have had a lot of life experience and shed many tears. I occasionally fell, but I believed that someday someone would help you up and get you moving ahead. He was Wong Kar-wai.  I am not emotional because I feel wronged, but because I am grateful.”

Backstage she said that she did not know why she cried even more than when she won her first Hong Kong Film Award 10 years ago, the older she got the more sentimental she got. ‘The Grandmaster’  has brought her 9 Best Actress awards, Zhang Ziyi said, “As the saying goes ’9 9 return to 1′, I will also start anew and continue to make good movies.”

Nick Cheung got muscular to make ‘Unbeatable’. He defeated Tony Leung Leung for Best Actor, his second victory after ‘The Beast Stalker‘ in 2009. However Leung was very magnanimous and took the initiative to congratulate Cheung.

After 19 years, Wong Kar-wai finally won the Best Director award again. He previously won with ‘Days Of Being Being Wild‘ and ‘ChungKing Express‘. Wong Kar-wai admitted that the road to the stage was not longer, but to get on it again he already took 20 years.  Presenter Carina Lau joked that Wong Kar-wai and Tony Leung must really love each other because they both insisted on working with the other. ‘The Grandmaster’ won 12 awards, setting a new record for the most awards. Wong Kar-wai said, “Film is the same as kung fu, it’s about the word ‘believe’. I cheer for Hong Kong film.” ‘The Grandmaster’ also won Best Film. Winning Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design with ‘The Grandmaster’, William Chang has already won the two awards for the 7th time, but due to an injury he could not attend.

Max Zhang won his first Hong Kong Film Award for Best Supporting Actor, he was so emotional that he sobbed with his wife Ada Choi in an embrace. He said as he cried, “Thank you Zhang Ziyi, thank you Leung Chiu-wai, special thanks to Yuen Woo Ping, without Yuen Woo Ping I couldn’t work with Wong Kar-wai. Thank you Wong Kar-wai, people say that making his film would win an award.  I got it, I wouldn’t even dream it. Thank you to my wife Choi Siu-fun. Some have said that I would depend on her for the rest of my life, yes! My happiness for the rest of my life will depend on her. Once due to bad attitude I said to me, ‘What use is it that you are the only one who appreciates me in the world?’   Now everyone appreciates me.  At the wedding that we would weather any storm together, we have experienced too many storms.  I hope in the future we will have more scenery.  From now on for richer or for poorer we have to spend it together.” Zhang later accepted the Best Action Choreography award for Yuen Woo Ping. He said, “One of the missing on the Malaysia Airline flight is the film’s action coordinator Ju Kun. Now since the matter still has not been cleared up, I want to loudly say to him, Ju Kun part of this award belongs to you, come back soon!”
THE 33RD HONG KONG FILM AWARDS
BEST FILM THE GRANDMASTER

BEST DIRECTOR Wong Kar Wai (THE GRANDMASTER)

BEST SCREENPLAY Zou Jingzhi, Xu Haofeng, Wong Kar-wai (THE GRANDMASTER)

BEST ACTOR Nick Cheung (UNBEATABLE)

BEST ACTRESS Zhang Ziyi (THE GRANDMASTER)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Max Zhang (THE GRANDMASTER)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS  Kara Wai (RIGOR MORTIS)

BEST NEW PERFORMER  Babyjohn Choi (THE WAY WE DANCE)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY Philippe Le Sourd (THE GRANDMASTER)

BEST FILM EDITING William Chang, Benjamin Courtines, Poon Hung Yiu (THE GRANDMASTER)

BEST ART DIRECTION William Chang, Alfred Yau (THE GRANDMASTER)

BEST COSTUME AND MAKE UP DESIGN William Chang  (THE GRANDMASTER)

BEST ACTION CHOREOGRAPHY Yuen Woo Ping (THE GRANDMASTER)

BEST ORIGINAL FILM SCORE Shigeru Umebayashi, Nathaniel Mechaly (THE GRANDMASTER)

BEST ORIGINAL FILM SONG LET’S DANCE (THE WAY WE DANCE)

BEST SOUND DESIGN Robert Mackenzie, Traithep Wongpaiboon (THE GRANDMASTER)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS Enoch Chan (RIGOR MORTIS)

BEST NEW DIRECTOR Adam Wong Sau Ping (THE WAY WE DANCE)

BEST FILM FROM MAINLAND AND TAIWAN SO YOUNG

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Cheung Sing Yim

carina wkw hkfa

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‘The Grandmaster’ Wins Big at Asian Film Awards

April 3rd, 2014 • 0 comments

zhang wkw

Sing Tao:

The 8th Asian Film Awards took place last night in Macau. With 11 nominations ‘The Grandmaster’ was the big winner as it won 7 awards: Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction, Best Original Score and Best Cinematography. Zhang Ziyi won her 8th Best Actress Award for portraying Gong Er in the film, whilst Tony Leung lost out to Indian actor Irrfan Khan in the Best Actor category.

Wong Kar-wai won Best Director and Best Film, and when he accepted the awards he was somewhat emotional. He said, “This award very regrettably cannot be shared with one of our stunt coordinators. He (Ju Kun) was a passenger on the missing Malaysia Airline flight. I hope Malaysia authorities would do its best to give us an understanding of the progress and the truth with more transparency.” He also sent his deepest condolences to the family of the passengers’ families. After the event Wong Kar-wai said that he hoped to help Ju Kun’s family through a family lawyer. As for Tony Leung again losing in the Best Actor category, Wong Kar-wai said that without the two Grandmasters Leung and Chang Chen, the film’s brilliance would not have been the same.

Upon being named Best Actress Zhang Ziyi happily embraced Wong Kar-wai then went to the stage and accepted the award from Carina Lau‘s hands. She said, “Thank you Asian Film Awards, the director and the Best Actor in my heart Mr. Leung Chiu-wai. I believe that many actors here feel the same as I do and experience the liveliness of the character with me. In addition it is without a mask, it is flesh and blood.” She said, “Like the tragedy that just happened, they all had lives of flesh and blood. They were our friends, family members. Here today, aside from celebration, I also want to salute valuable life.”

Zhang Ziyi said, “This time while working on ‘The Grandmaster’ I built deep relationships with the crew. I have already worked with Wong Kar-wai when I was very little, he is my teacher and my friend. The film production process was rather tough, ordinary people must not be able to feel that, in particular during the training. Today I am very upset for a reason, the team has a friend……who made me experience that I have to cherish life and those around me more. I hope this matter can give the real truth to the family.”

THE 8TH ASIAN FILM AWARD WINNERS
BEST FILM:
THE GRANDMASTER
BEST DIRECTOR: Wong Kar Wai (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST ACTOR: Irrfan Khan (THE LUNCHBOX)
BEST ACTRESS: Zhang Ziyi (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Huang Bo (NO MAN’S LAND)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Yeo Yann Yann (ILO ILO)
BEST NEWCOMER: Jiang Shuying (SO YOUNG)
BEST SCREENWRITER: Ritesh Batra (THE LUNCHBOX)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER: Philippe Le Sourd (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGNER: Willian Chang Suk Ping, Alfred Yau Wai Ming (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST COMPOSER: Shigeru Umebayashi, Nathaniel Mechanly (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST EDITOR: Shin Min-Kyung (COLD EYES)
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Jeong Seong-Jin (MR. GO)
BEST COSTUME DESIGNER: William Chang Suk Ping (THE GRANDMASTER)

carina zhang

‘The Grandmaster’ Wins 4 Hong Kong Director’s Guild Awards

March 9th, 2014 • 0 comments

hong kong guild

MTime:

At the Hong Kong Film Directors’ Guild 25th anniversary party and award presentation, ‘The Grandmaster‘ won 4 awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Wong Kar-wai, Best Actor for Tony Leung and Best Actress for Zhang Ziyi. It was Tony Leung’s first award for the film.

When Zhang Ziyi accepted the Best Actress award she said, “I don’t make many Hong Kong films. Since 2046 I started working with Wong Kar-wai, I feel that my performance and my English have improved. Only my Cantonese has deteriorated. Thus I hope to be able to work with different Hong Kong directors like Derek Yee.” She again won Best Actress for playing Gong Er, but was she confident that she would win again at the Hong Kong Film Award? Zhang Ziyi, “Let it take its natural course, actors can only control their performance on the set. Box office, word of mouth and awards are bonuses.” She regretted that ‘The Grandmaster’ did not win at the Oscars.
Tony Leung won Best Actor for playing Ip Man, he said that he represented the film team and could only take 10% of the credit. It also proved everyone’s hard work of the past 5 years. Although ‘The Grandmaster’ lost at the Oscars, Leung felt that reaching this step was already a honor. “The admission already proves the competitiveness of Chinese films. Although this is just the first step, success needs coordination from luck.”

Director Wong Kar-wai said that the awards represented countless words. He even admired Zhang Ziyi for being able to have different acceptance speeches for the numerous times she won awards for her role, but he only had “Thank you everyone”.

HONG KONG FILM DIRECTOR’S GUILD AWARDS 2013
BEST PICTURE:
THE GRANDMASTER
BEST DIRECTOR: Wong Kar-wai (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST ACTOR: Tony Leung (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST ACTRESS: Zhang Ziyi (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST NEW ACTOR: Babyjohn Choi (THE WAY WE DANCE)
NEW DIRECTOR: Adam Wong (THE WAY WE DANCE)
COMMISSION SPECIAL PRIZE: Derek Kwok (AS THE LIGHT GOES OUT)

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‘The Grandmaster’ leaves the Academy Awards empty-handed

March 9th, 2014 • 0 comments

william chang wkw philippe le sourd

Xinhuanet:

The Wong Kar-wai directed film ‘The Grandmaster’ was nominated for Best Costume and Best Cinematography at the Academy Awards but won neither. Wong Kar-wai said, “It doesn’t matter because it’s very hard. Gravity, for example, had several thousand people on the production, and they had labour unions too. Each person was connected, but I feel being nominated was already not easy.”

Two nights later, Wong Kar-wai returned to Hong Kong and prepared to attend the Hong Kong Film Directors Guild anniversary banquet. How did the Oscars atmosphere feel? He said, “Their organizations are very strict, the production is great and very united.” (Did the Hong Kong Film Awards have anything to learn?) “The Oscars is a very large scale show, with over 1 billion viewers worldwide. They have a lot of resources and enormous in scale, but the Hong Kong Film Award is already very well done.” He also revealed that earlier he met with Gong Li. Would they work together again? He said, “We definitely will have a chance.”

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‘The Grandmaster’ Receives 2 Oscar Nominations

January 18th, 2014 • 0 comments

grandmaster 17 jan

Sina:

Yesterday, the nominations for the 86th Oscars were announced. ‘The Grandmaster‘, which is directed by Wong Kar-wai and starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Zhang Ziyi, did not receive a Best Foreign Film nomination but was still nominated for Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design. William Chang Suk-ping is nominated for the Best Costume Design award, whilst French photographer Philippe Le Sourd is nominated for Best Cinematography. A spokesperson for The Grandmaster’s distributor Jet Tone congratulated the two nominees, saying “They represent Hong Kong and are the glory of the Hong Kong film industry”.

The Ang Lee directed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon not only won the 73rd Oscar Best Foreign Film but also brought Hong Kong film professionals Tim Yip and Peter Pau the Best Art Director and the Best Cinematography Oscars. Years later, cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd is nominated for an Oscar after winning the Golden Horse Award and at the Asian Pacific Film Festival. He will compete against his counterparts from Gravity, Prisoners, Nebraska and Inside Llewyn Davis.

On the other hand, William Chang Suk-ping is nominated for Best Costume Design, the first time a Hong Kong film is nominated in the category. He will face his colleagues from American Hustle, The Great Gatsby, 12 Years A Slave and The Invisible Woman. William Chang, who has worked frequently with Mr. Wong, said he was “deeply honoured” for his costume-design nomination. “This is a recognition of the great team effort that went into bringing this film to life.”

The 86th Academy Awards will take place late on Sunday March 2 2014, at the Dolby Theatre.

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william chang

Martin Scorsese Interviews Wong Kar-wai

January 17th, 2014 • 0 comments

wkw scorsese

Last week at the Lighthouse International Theater in New York City, Martin Scorsese took a break from promoting “The Wolf of Wall Street” to help present a screening of “The Grandmaster” and to interview its director, Wong Kar-wai.

Zhang Ziyi wins her first Golden Horse Best Actress Award

November 27th, 2013 • 0 comments

zhang ziyi 1

 Sina:

The 50th Golden Horse Awards took place at the National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taiwan on the 23rd November. Zhang Ziyi‘s performance in The Grandmaster won her her first Golden Horse Best Actress. With 11 nominations The Grandmaster was the big winner with five awards. Alhough director Wong Kar-wai lost both Best Director and Best Feature Film to Stray Dogs and Ilo IloThe Grandmaster was deeply popular with the audience as it won the viewers’ choice award.

The three Best Actor favourites, Hong Kong representatives The Grandmaster‘s Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Unbeatable‘s Nick Cheung and Cold War‘s Tony Leung Ka-fai, lost to Stray Dog‘s Lee Kang-Sheng. Leung stood up and shook hands with the newcomer; however, when the event arranged for past Best Actors and Best Actresses for a group photo, he was pouting and looked unhappy. Singapore film Ilo Ilo won four awards, including Best Feature Film, Best New Director, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay. Its performance was second only to The Grandmaster.

The 34-year-old Zhang Ziyi won her first Golden Horse Best Actress after 15 years in the business with The Grandmaster‘s Gong Er. When Zhang Ziyi received the award from Maggie Cheung and Andy Lau, she was teary eyed and choking back her tears. She said, “I have been nominated several times for the Golden Horse, today I finally got it. Thank you to the Director Ang Lee led jury, making me the Best Actress on the Golden Horse’s 50th birthday. Making The Grandmaster was long and tough, but the process was happy. Thank you to on and off screen grand masters, without them I wouldn’t be here. Thank you Leung Chiu-wai, he will always be the Best Actor in my heart. Thank you Wong Kar-wai. When my heart was suffering the most I ran into Gong Er, telling me to believe in myself. I did it. Today Mama is here too, last month was my birthday and this award is the best birthday present. Yesterday I got a call from Papa, he is sick. I hope this award will make him recover soon.”

The 50th Golden Horse Award Winners:

BEST FEATURE FILM: ILO ILO
BEST SHORT FILM: BUTTER LAMP
BEST DOCUMENTARY: BEYOND BEAUTY, TAIWAN FROM ABOVE
BEST DIRECTOR: Tsai Ming-Liang (STRAY DOGS)
BEST NEW DIRECTOR: Anthony Chen (ILO ILO)
BEST LEADING ACTOR: Lee Kang-Sheng (STRAY DOGS)
BEST LEADING ACTRESS: Zhang Ziyi (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Li Xuejian (1942)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Yeo Yann Yann (ILO ILO)
BEST NEW PERFORMER: Kuo Shu-Yau (STEP BACK TO GLORY)
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Anthony Chen (ILO ILO)
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Li Qiang (SO YOUNG)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Philippe Le Sourd (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Pierre Buffin (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST ART DIRECTION: William Chang Suk-Ping, Alfred Yau Wai-Ming (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST MAKE UP & COSTUME DESING: William Chang Suk-Ping (THE GRANDMASTER)
BEST ACTION CHOREOPGRAHY: Jackie Chan, He Jun, Jackie Chan Stunt Team (CZ12)
BEST ORIGINAL FILM SCORE: Lim Giong (A TOUCH OF SIN)
BEST ORIGINAL FILM SONG: I LOVE YOU (ROCK ME TO THE MOON)
BEST FILM EDITING: Mattieu Laclau, Lin Xudong (A TOUCH OF SIN)
BEST SOUND EFFECTS: Tu Duu-Chih, Kuo Li Chi (SOUL)
OUTSTANDING TAIWANESE FILMMAKER OF THE YEAR: Yeh Ju-Feng
AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD: THE GRANDMASTER
FIPRESCI PRIZE: RIGOR MORTIS
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Chen Chen

andy lau maggie cheung zhang ziyi

lee kang sheng zhang ziyi

wong kar wai zhang ziyi

carina lau tony leung zhang ziyi

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Hong Kong Nominates ‘The Grandmaster’ for Foreign Language Oscar

September 25th, 2013 • 0 comments

grandmaster final

China News:

The Federation of Motion Film Producers of Hong Kong Ltd has picked Wong Kar-wai‘s ‘The Grandmaster‘ as Hong Kong’s representative at the Oscars in the Best Foreign Film category. The China co-production was chosen over two other finalists: Herman Yau‘s Ip Man: The Final Fight and Dante Lam‘s ‘Unbeatable.  Due to The Grandmaster‘s North American box office takings of US$ 6.3 million and its selection as one of the Telegraph’s 2013 Top Ten Best Films, its chances to receive to be shortlisted in the Oscar’s Best Foreign Film category are even higher.  Many Hong Kong films applied for the honour. The box office hit ‘Unbeatable’ was fierce competition with ‘The Grandmaster’ but in the end Wong Kar-wai’s film came out ahead.

“The film is very artistic and it shows a lot of local Chinese elements,” federation chairman Crucindo Hung Cho-sing said. “The Oscar academy usually chooses films that reflect the country’s features, so there’s a big chance it will be a nominee.” Comparing ‘The Grandmaster’ to previous films based on Ip Man, board member Patrick Tong Hing-chi said earlier ones focused more on action, while Wong’s version was more emotional. “He paid a lot of attention to shooting techniques,” Tong said. “The kung fu moves are very elegant.”

The spokesperson of the movie’s producer said the production crew are exciting about the news. “It’s our honor to have it selected to represent Hong Kong in the Oscars,” said the spokesperson, “We are thankful to the recognition by the selection committee in Hong Kong, and we do hope ‘The Grandmaster’ can shine in the top notch international venue.” Actors Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi were happy for Wong Kar-wai when they received the good news in Qingdao and they hope to be able to walk the Oscar red carpet again.

The 2014 Oscars will be presented on March 2 in Los Angeles.

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