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Golden Flower Competes for Oscar Qualification
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Chinese director Zhang Yimou has finished shooting his new blockbuster Curse of the Golden Flower yesterday at Bashang Grassland in Hebei Province.   


Zhang will head to the United States and Australia for a two-month post production trip. It is expected the trip will be wrapped up before September 15th, in time for him to apply for Oscar nomination.   


Zhang had not revealed an intention to compete for the Best Foreign Film Award at the Oscars until his finished shooting 20 days ahead of schedule.   


The producer, Zhang Weiping, believes that for a movie to apply for Oscar nomination, it not only needs to show the highest level of quality film production, but its distribution also must be handled by a big film company.   


He said, "If we relied on a small film company, the promotion of the film definitely would not work out. So, we have sold the film's copyright in North America to Sony Classic. The film will be screened at the same time all around the world this December. This is the first time this happens in the Chinese film industry."   


He also believes it is the right time for the film to apply for Oscar nomination.   


According to the rules for competition in the Best Foreign Film category, a country can only have one applicant. And the film has to be shown in cinemas for at least a week before September 30th.   


Meanwhile, another big project, Feng Xiaogang's The Banquet, has already applied for competition at the Academy Awards, so the battle will start here in China to see which one is more popular with local audiences.


(CRI July 5, 2006)

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