Yoichi Sai's Blood AndBones has been selected by the Japan Motion Pictures Association (Eiren) asJapan's nominee for the best foreign-language film AcademyAward.

The drama stars TakeshiKitano as a violent but charismatic Korean man who becomes a family patriarchand community power in postwar Osaka, while spreading misery, resentment and fear.

Sai, of Korean backgroundhimself, spent six years making the film from a novel by fellow ethnic KoreanYan Sogil. Blood And Bones garnered many year-end honors following itsOctober 2004 release, including best acting prizes for star Kitano.Internationally the film is being represented by Celluloid Dreams.

Sai also swept domesticprizes in 1993 for All Under the Moon, a picaresque drama about acynical Korean cabby, and had a major hit last year with Quill, a dramaabout a lovable seeing-eye dog that earned nearly $20m in Japan and drew large audiences across Asia.