Cover Photo: Courtesy of IMDB

The 2019 film directed by Derek Tsang is nominated for the Best International Film category and marks the first time a Hong Kong-born director was nominated

Better Days is adapted from a popular young-adult novel Young and Beautiful, about a schoolgirl who becomes entangled in a murder case and stars Zhou Dongyu and Jackson Yee, the a member of Chinese boy band TFBoys. After its release in China October 2019, it became a national hit, grossing over $220 million.

At the Hong Kong Film Awards the following year, it took home eight prizes, including best film, best director, best screenplay and best actress. 

See also: 14 Great Hong Kong Movies to Add to Your Netflix Watch List

Director Derek Tsang, who is also the son of beloved Hong Kong comedian and TV host Eric Tsang, has been considered a rising star on the local scene, but his nomination for Better Days marks a significant moment in history—the first time a Hong Kong-born director had received the honour.

It is also only the third-ever Hong Kong SAR submission to be acknowledged. Previously, two Hong Kong films by Chinese directors (Zhang Yimou "Raise the Red Lantern" 1999, Chen Kaige "Farewell My Concubine" 1993) have been nominated while Wong Kar-wai's 2013 film The Grandmaster made the Oscar shortlist

Watch the 2021 Academy Awards live from Union Station Los Angeles and the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center on Sunday, April 25, 2021.

See also: 2021 Oscars Nominations: The Full List of This Year's Academy Award Nominees