As anticipated, China has selected Zhang Yimou's Curse Of The Golden Flower as its submission for the best foreign-languagefilm category at next year's Academy Awards.

Beijing New Picture Film Co,which produced the film, confirmed the decision made by a selection committee organisedby the Film Bureau under China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television(SARFT).

"We have finished thequalifying screenings in China, now the next step is the battle in the US," said GoldenFlower producer Zhang Weiping.

The $45m period drama wonover three other contenders: Feng Xiaogang's The Banquet, which dropped out on Wednesday to instead represent Hong Kong in the Oscar race; suspense drama CuriosityKills The Cat, directed by Zhang Yibai and backed by Eagle SpiritManagement, and Zhang Jiarui's drama TheRoad, which participated in the Toronto and Berlin film festivals.

Beijing New Picture originallyplanned to hold Curse Of The GoldenFlower's qualifying screenings in the city of Shenyang but changed the venue to Beijing where it screened for one week from Sep 20.

A co-production with HongKong's Edko Films, the film stars Chow Yun Fat, Gong Li and pop singer JayChou. Sony Pictures Classics is scheduled to release the film in the US on Dec 21.