Olympian task: Tornatore turns camera on Games

'Paradiso' helmer at work on docu

Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore, fresh off the critical and commercial success of "La Sconosciuta" (The Unknown), his first film in six years, is in China working on a documentary related to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

The director, best known for his 1989 classic "Cinema Paradiso," took home the special Blockbuster Prize for the best out-of-competition film at the recently completed RomaCinemaFest with "La Sconosciuta." The film premiered to strong reviews at the Rome event and made a splash at the Italian boxoffice Oct. 20 when it opened as the country's No. 3 film, raking in nearly $1 million during its first weekend.

Details of the documentary project were not released until Saturday, but it is known that Tornatore was in China working on the then-secret project even before the RomaCinemaFest. There was no word about the documentary's subject matter or news about when it will be completed.

Oscar-winning helmer Ang Lee ("Brokeback Mountain"), who was born in Taiwan, is a special artistic consultant for China, overseeing the project to create several documentaries ahead of the 2008 Olympic opening ceremony.

Most of the directors involved in the project will not be named until later in the year. But it is known that, like Tornatore, Iranian director Majid Majidi has been commissioned to create a documentary related to the Beijing Games. Majidi is best known for the 1996 film "Pedar" (The Father), which won special jury prizes at the San Sebastian and Turin film festivals that year.