This Friday, sources revealed that The Wandering Earth 2 from China and In Flames from Pakistan have been added to the Academy’s members-only online streaming service, Academy Screening Room. This means that these two films have been selected as their respective countries’ official choices for the 2024 Academy Awards Best International Feature Film category.
What is China’s ‘The Wandering Earth 2’ about?
Frant Gwo directed The Wandering Earth in 2019, which was partially based on the same-titled short novel from 2000. It went on to become China’s fifth-highest grossing film of all time. In January, a prequel to the first film was released and was received warmly by fans and critics alike. The synopsis reads: “Humans built huge engines on the surface of the earth to find a new home. But the road to the universe is perilous. In order to save earth, young people once again have to step forward to start a race against time for life and death.”
Essentially, the majority of The Wandering Earth II covers the superhuman efforts required to kickstart the Moving Mountain Project, a quest to construct and then deploy a few globe-shifting engines required to push the Earth out of harm’s way. This movie has collectively been loved throughout China since its release but is it Oscar-worthy? We’ll see about that.
What is Pakistan’s ‘In Flames’ about?
Zarrar Kahn wrote and directed In Flames, which made its North American debut at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival. In total, Pakistan has submitted 11 films, with one, Joyland, making the 2022 shortlist. The story takes place in Karachi and premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. Following the death of their family’s leader, a woman and her daughter’s frail life is disrupted by tangible and spectral beings from their past.