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Flying Daggers to Vie for Oscar

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) has given director Zhang Yimou's martial-arts epic House of Flying Daggers the nod to seek a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in next year's Academy Awards.

Starring Zhang Ziyi and Andy Lau, Flying Daggers topped 135 million yuan (US$16.3 million) at the Chinese box office recently, and has won acclaim in Japan, South Korea and the US.

Tian Zhuangzhuang's spectacular documentary Delamu, although a popular favorite at home and widely rumored to have been approved to head for Hollywood for the prestigious competition, was knocked out.

The film was originally shot as a TV documentary and it wasn't until later that Tian decided to
turn it into a film. Because the original form has been broadcast on Japan's national station, NHK, US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rules disqualify it, according to SARFT.

Fifty-two-year-old Tian -- who, like Zhang, is one of China's "fifth-generation" directors -- shot his documentary in a tiny, remote village in Yunnan Province. The title, Delamu, means "the Goddess of Safe and Sound" in the Tibetan language. It was also the name of Tian's mule.

Director Johnnie To Kei-Fung received approval from the Federation of Motion Film Producers of Hong Kong to field his Running on Karma, another Andy Lau action adventure.

(China.org.cn September 17, 2004)

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