Two days before the entry deadline, China's Film Bureau, under the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), says it still hasn't decided on which film it will submit to the best foreign-language film category of the Academy Awards.

However, it looks likely that The Knot, a love story with propaganda elements produced by state-owned China Film Group Corporation, is likely to represent the country.

Traditionally the Film Bureau sets up a selection committee to decide from the candidates recommended by local film companies.

China Film had originally intended to recommend Peter Ho-Sun Chan's war epic The Warlords, which it co-produced with Morgan-Chan Productions and Media Asia, to the Film Bureau. However, it switched to The Knot when The Warlords withdrew from the competition last week.

Chan's film will be released across Asia on Dec 20 and in North America in autumn 2008, so will vie for other categories in the 2009 Academy Awards, rather than the foreign-language category in 2008.

Spokesmen from both the Film Bureau and China Film confirmed that The Knot is on the candidate list. Jiang Wen's The Sun Also Rises has also been sent in to the committee as a candidate.

However, industry players believe that The Knot is more likely to win the hearts of selection committee members. The film is directed by Yin Li who is best known for making films on revolutionary heroes.

A Film Bureau spokesman said a decision would be made by Sunday, Sep 30.

For the past three years, China has submitted martial arts epics to the Academy: Zhang Yimou's House Of Flying Daggers (2004), Chen Kaige's The Promise (2005) and Zhang's Curse Of The Golden Flower (2006).