Fang Li, the producer of Berlin competition title Lost In Beijing, is having a final meeting with Chinese film censors today (Feb 5) in a last-ditch attempt to win approval for the film to participate in the festival.

The Film Reviewing Committee under the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) reached a decision last Wednesday to ban the film from going to Berlin.

'We feel really frustrated because after editing the film four times in the past 20 days, they still think it's too dark,' Fang told Screendaily.

Fang said he was called to meet with the 15 members of the committee last Wednesday and was handed a letter stating that 'due to current regulations, the film will need further modifications and is therefore not allowed to participate in the 57th Berlin Film Festival'.

Fang and the film's director Li Yu went to see the Film Bureau, which is also under SARFT, last Friday to talk to officials. The bureau agreed to arrange another censors' meeting today to discuss the film again.

However, Fang added that he will attend Berlin whatever the outcome of the meeting. 'We're just trying for a last chance not to break the rules,' Fang said.

Li Yu's third feature, Lost In Beijing stars Tony Leung Ka-fai and Fan Bingbing in a story about two couples' entangled relationships, which is set against the backdrop of China 's rapidly growing economy. It is understood that the Chinese censors believed that the film portrayed negative aspects of contemporary Chinese society.

Two weeks ago, as a result of the first censorship meeting, the censors requested 15 modifications in order for the film to be approved, including cutting some sex scenes andmention of aprostitute.

According to the 'Chinese Regulation on Film Management', films are required to be approved by SARFT before participating in foreign film festivals. Breaking the regulation results in a five-year ban from making movies.

Fang previously produced Cannes 2006 competition title Summer Palace which wasnot approved by censors before it screened at the festival resulting in a five-year ban for director Lou Ye and producer Nai An.

Both Fang and Li Yu said they are prepared to acceptany punishment in connection with Lost In Beijing inorder to maintain the complete structure of the film.

Lost In Beijing is scheduled to have its world premiere in Berlin at 16.00 and 22.30 on Friday,Feb16. A source from the Berlin film festival says the festival is adopting a 'wait-and-see' policyregarding the film's participation.