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Annaud 'Stupefied' by Academy's Decision to Drop Wolf Totem
   2015-10-13 20:09:31    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Niu Honglin

Jean-Jacques Annaud [File Photo: mtime.com]

Acclaimed film director and Oscar winner Jean-Jacques Annaud has denounced the Academy Award organizers after his Sino-French co-production "Wolf Totem" got dropped out of the running for being insufficiently Chinese.

Annaud made the announcement yesterday, saying that he was "stupefied" by the Academy's last-minute move and called the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences a "banana republic level of arbitrariness".

Wolf Totem, the story of a young man's triumph over wolves in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia, was shot in both Mandarin and Mongolian in China with Chinese actors.

Earlier this month, Chinese media reported widely that the film could be China's entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2016 Oscars.

But Annaud cited a letter from the Academy as telling him: "When we looked at the creative make-up of Wolf Totem and realised that the director, two of the three writers, one of the producers, the director of photography, the editor and the composer were not Chinese, we determined that the film could not qualify as a Chinese entry."

Annaud then accused Hollywood of a "nearly protectionist" double standard where "American cinema can feed off foreign talent without reservation. But foreign cinema must remain tribal."

Wolf Totem was replaced with "Go Away, Mr. Tumor", a domestic film about a cartoonist's optimistic and tear-jerking battle with cancer.

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