‘Palace’ intrigue

Chinese helmer needs gov't OK on pic

Lou Ye, helmer of China’s Cannes competition pic “Summer Palace,” could be banned from working at home and traveling abroad, for failing to submit the pic to the Chinese government for censorship.

“We have not yet received it and don’t know when to expect it,” a spokesman for the China Film Bureau said. Movies must be cleared by the Bureau before being submitted for foreign festivals.

Producers said they would submit it for approval once post-production is finished. They sent a 140-minute rough cut of the pic to Cannes organizers for consideration for the fest, which begins May 17.

“We’re still doing some mixing on the sound,” said Fang Li, producer and prexy of Laurel Films. “We will hurry to have it done in the next 10 days and submit it then.” Lensing on the pic wrapped eight months ago.

Once the final cut is submitted to the censors, the Film Bureau could rush it through, sit on it or deny it a Chinese release.

Pic is a joint production by Dreamfactory and Laurel in China, Rosem Films in France and Flying Moon Filmproduktion, with support from France’s Fonds Sud subsidy pool.

“Summer Palace” is the tale of lovers, played by Hao Lei and Guo Xiaodong, separated in 1989 and reunited years later. It is set in five Chinese cities, including Beijing and Chongqing.

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