Vietnam submits action film ‘578 Magnum’ for Oscars consideration

The film was pulled from domestic cinemas after only earning VND3.4 billion, or USD144,500

Vietnamese action-thriller 578 Magnum has been selected by the country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as their Oscars 2023 submission.

The film was sent to the Oscars organising board on October 3 with full English subtitles, Voice of Vietnam reports. 578 Magnum will compete in the preliminary rounds for the Best International Feature Film award category, with the final nominees for the award set to be named ahead of the awards ceremony itself on March 12.

578 Magnum tells the tale of a father played by Alexandre Nguyen as he hunts down the crime syndicate that kidnapped his daughter. Directed by Luong Dinh Hung and costing a reported $2.54 million to make, the film also stars Hoang Phuc as well as model Jessica Minh Anh and former Miss Universe Vietnam H’Hen Nie.

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Watch the trailer for 578 Magnum below.

The film reportedly performed poorly when it was released domestically in May, leading to the producers pulling the movie from theatres on June 1 after only earning VND3.4 billion, or $144,500, according to Vietnamnet. The movie had reportedly received rave reviews from international directors and producers including Harry Potter director Mike Newell, and was expected to be a box office hit upon premiering.

578 Magnum is also set to compete for the Best Film award at the 26th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia this November.

Luong has already revealed that the movie will be screened at up to 11 film festivals by November, with the movie reportedly set to premiere in 21 countries. In an interview with Viet Nam News in the wake of the movie’s box office disaster, the director told the outlet that he believes 578 Magnum will be successful internationally as it has a “powerful Vietnamese identity”, adding that it met many criteria of international art and entertainment while being an “exploration of Asian cinema.”

Hong Kong has also submitted the Tony Leung vehicle Where the Wind Blows as their candidate for Best International Feature Film. Directed by Philip Yung, the film traces the rise of four corrupt police officers in 1960s and reportedly cost $38 million to make, earning it a place among the most expensive films in Hong Kong cinema history.

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Other notable submissions from the Asia region include South Korea’s Decision To Leave by director Park Chan-wook and 2021 Best International Film winners Japan submitting Chie Hayakawa’s Plan 75.

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