Blockbuster action thriller Infernal Affairs has been selected as Hong Kong's official entry for the best foreign-language category of the 76th Academy Awards.

The selection was unveiled by Crucindo Hung, chairman of the Federation of Motion Film Producers of Hong Kong. The choice of Infernal Affairs was unanimous.

Infernal Affairs topped the local box office chart when it was released last December. The star-studded film, with Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Andy Lau and Anthony Wong, has also garnered rave reviews.

Both directors Andrew Lau Wai-Keung and Alan Mak Siu-Fai say they are very pleased with the nomination. Mak added that it was the first time a box office hit had received such a nomination in Hong Kong.

The English-language remake rights of Infernal Affairs have already been sold to Warner Bros. It is believed that this will widen the exposure of the film in the US, giving it an edge to make the best foreign-language Oscar shortlist. The film has not been released in the US.

The deadline for submission to the 76th Academy Awards is October 1, with the event taking place on February 29, 2004.