“Summer Palace” director Lou Ye and producer Nai An have been banned from making films in China for five years each, as punishment for submitting the film to the Cannes Film Festival before it was approved by government censors.

A State Administration of Radio, Film & Television official confirmed the ban to China’s official Xinhua News Agency, but refused further comment.

“Summer Palace” is scheduled to have its North American preem Sept. 13 at the Toronto Film Festival.

Pic is a love story, set against the backdrop of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, and contains explicit sex scenes. It was the only Asian pic in competition for the Palme d’Or at May’s Cannes fest.

The five-year term of the ban indicates it’s for a second offense. Lou previously was banned from making films for two years for “Suzhou River,” which was produced without official approval. It preemed in Rotterdam in January 2000.

According to China’s Regulations on the Administration of Films, in addition to the bans, “Summer Palace” will be confiscated and a fine of five to 10 times the film’s income will be levied, Xinhua said.

“Summer Palace” has not screened openly in China; it’s likely to follow previous censored pics and gain visibility via pirated versions.

(From staff and wire reports)