Li Yu's Berlin competition title Lost In Beijing was finally passed by China's Film Reviewing Committee this afternoon. However the approved film is 15 minutes shorter than the original version according to the film's producer Fang Li.

Zhang Hongsen, deputy director of the Film Bureau under the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), confirmed that the film was approved during this afternoon's meeting and will be allowed to screen as scheduled in competition at Berlin.

Last Wednesday, the committee decided to ban the film from participating in the festival unless modifications were made. Two days later Fang and director Li Yu made further cuts and negotiated with Film Bureau officials. The bureau then stepped in to re-arrange a meeting of the censorship committee today which saved the film from being banned.

The approval also means that the film will receive a screening permit from the Film Bureau to be released in Chinese cinemas.

'Although the result is a compromise it is still good news,' said Fang Li. 'After three weeks of effort we feel that censorship has moved a big step forwards and we see it as a good sign.'

Set in contemporary Beijing, the film originally told the story of two couples - onerich and one poor- who swap partners, thus revealing their values regarding subjects such as money and sex.

However, the approved version of the film, which is 97 minutes long, focuses on a love triangle between one young woman and two men. According to Fang, a side story about another young woman has been completely removed.

Director Li Yu and the crew will be leaving for Berlin next week for the film's world premiere on Feb 16. French distributor Films Distribution previously acquired worldwide rights to the film, while Beijing-based Polybona Film Distribution willhandle distributionin mainland China.