France's Films Distribution has acquired worldwide rights to Chinese female director Li Yu's Lost In Beijing (Pingguo), produced by Fang Li's Laurel Films, which has been selected for competition at this year's Berlin film festival.

The film is currently in post-production and is scheduled to be submitted to Chinese censors next week. But it's understood that it faces a race against time to get approval in time for its Berlin appearance.

Under Chinese government rules, films that that have not passed censorship are not allowed to travel to overseas film festivals.

'We are walking on a tightrope right now,' Fang told Screendaily. 'The film was originally scheduled to be completed in March. Now we have to rush to make it for the Film Bureau and for the festival. But we promise that the situation with Summer Palace won't happen again.'

Fang, one of the most prominent independent producers of new Chinese talents, previously produced Lou Ye's Summer Palace which ran into trouble with censors earlier this year. Lou and producer Nai An were banned from making films for five years. However, Fang removed his name from the film when it screened in competition at Cannes without passing censorship.

Lost In Beijing , which is Li Yu's third feature, is described as a 'sweet and sour tale about sex and the desire of parenthood in the social reality of the new generations in Beijing '.

'Li Yu is an amazing story teller - we were charmed by her characters, her astonishing visuals and her capacity to deliver universal emotions. The movie also gives the audience a behind-the-scenes view of the Chinese economic miracle,' said Films Distribution executive director Nicolas Brigaud-Robert.

Lost In Beijing is the second Asian film acquired in the past few months by Films Distribution, after Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien's Paris-set Red Balloon, starring Juliette Binoche.