Hong Kong'sCelestial Pictures has launched a traveling US film festival of Chinese martialarts films which kicked off in Los Angeles on Friday and will travel throughuniversities and cinemas in 20 cities the country.

The seriestitled Heroic Grace: The Chinese Martial Arts Film features ten classic ShawBrothers films produced between 1966 and 1980 from directors such as ChangCheh, King Hu, Liu Chia-liang and Chu Yuan. The series is presented by the UCLAFilm and Television Archives, and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices inSan Francisco.

'Chinesefilms are gaining worldwide attention, especially in America, with films suchas Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero,' said Celestial CEO William Pfeiffer in a statement. 'Bywatching these Shaw Brothers films, audiences will understand from where manyof the inspirations and ideas of these recent martial-arts films came - as wellas upcoming films such as Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill.'

Films included in the seriesare Come Drink With Me, Golden Swallow, One-armed Swordsman, Killer Clans,Confessions Of A Chinese Courtesan, Blood Brothers and Executioners Of Shaolin. Tarantino himself introduced Executioners OfShaolin as the opening night film onFriday.