Domestic and international acquisitions teams crammed into the Varsity Cinema 8 to see 20 minutes from Zhang Yimou’s upcoming historical drama today (9).

FilmNation’s Glen Basner is selling international rights outside China and select Asian territories and introduced the footage to the newly titled The Flowers Of War based on Heng Liu’s adaptation of Geling Yan’s novel of the same name.

Christian Bale plays an American who saves a group of children trapped in a church in the days immediately following the Japanese invasion of Nanking. The film is approximately 40% in English and 60% Mandarin and the world premiere is set for Dec 16 in Beijing.

The epic-scale tale of love and valour is likely to become China’s Oscar submission and the film’s domestic representatives –producer and New Pictures Film head Zhang Weiping, executive producer David Linde and Stephen Saltzman – are touting it as a late 2011 awards contender.

Summit Entertainment head Patrick Wachsberger, SPC co-heads Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, FilmDistrict’s Peter Schlessel and Adrian Alperovich, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions head Steve Bersch, Harvey Weinstein and Fox top buyer Tony Safford were among the buyers in attendance.