Hong Kong, China unveil Oscar submissions

'Painted Skin,' 'Dream Weavers -- Beijing 2008' chosen

Hong Kong action fantasy "Painted Skin" and China's Olympic documentary "Dream Weavers -- Beijing 2008," have been selected as their country's official entries for the 2009 foreign-language film Oscar.

The $15 million "Skin" is a Hong Kong-China co-production shot in China but produced by a Hong Kong team led by director Gordon Chan. Starring Donnie Yen, Zhou Xun and Zhao Wei, the film will open Friday in China and Oct. 2 in Hong Kong.

With no U.S. distributor secured, its international sales agent Eastern Mordor will showcase "Skin" at the upcoming American Film Market.

Meanwhile, "Dream Weavers -- Beijing 2008," the official documentary on the Beijing Olympics, was submitted to the Academy by China's State Administration of Film, Radio and Television as China's official foreign-language entry.

Seven years in the making, the Jun Yu-directed documentary recorded preparations for the Beijing Olympics, including footage of the construction of the National Stadium, and the personal stories and efforts of the workers, volunteers and athletes at center stage during the Games.

Its entry marks the first time China has submitted a documentary for consideration for the award.

Producers of the film are in talks with U.S. distributors for the film's U.S. release, a spokesperson of China Central Newsreel and Documentary Studios told The Hollywood Reporter.

Karen Chu reported from Hong Kong; Alex Dai reported from Shanghai.