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Gangster thriller "Exiled" nominations for Oscar as best foreign movie

Johnnie To's gangster thriller "Exiled" is Hong Kong's choice for the best foreign movie Oscar submission for next year, an industry official said Tuesday.

"Exiled" beat out six other movies: the historical epic "A Battle of Wits," the action movie "Invisible Target," the surveillance-themed "Eye in the Sky," "The Detective," Chinese director Jiang Wen's "The Sun Also Rises" and "Protege," about a drug kingpin.

To's movie was chosen by a poll of 11 board members of the Federation of Motion Film Producers of Hong Kong last week, the group's chairman, Crucindo Hung, said in a phone interview. He declined to say how many votes "Exiled" got.

"Exiled," about four gunmen who receive orders to kill a fellow gangster but rebel against their boss, still needs to go through another round of screening to become a nominee in the Oscar best foreign movie category. The U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences usually narrows down submissions to five nominees.

To, whose credits also include "Election" and "Election 2," is one of the few Hong Kong director left to make the stylish action thrillers the territory is known for. "Exiled" features sophisticated group gun battles.

His "Mad Detective" film competed for the top Golden Lion prize at the Venice Film Festival earlier this month, but lost to Ang Lee's new spy thriller "Lust, Caution."

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