Wrekin Hill Entertainment and Row 1 Prods. have acquired the North American distribution rights to Chinese director Zhang Yimou’s “The Flowers of War,” starring Christian Bale.

Deal was announced Monday at the American Film Market.

The film has been selected as this year’s official foreign language entry for China at the Academy Awards. Wrekin Hill will open the film in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco in late December and then expand through early 2012.

“Flowers” will have a wide release in China on Dec. 16 following premieres in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Based on a screenplay by Heng Liu, pic is adapted from Geling Yan’s historical novel “13 Flowers of Nanjing,” set against the backdrop of the Rape of Nanking in 1937. Pic is produced and fully financed by Zhang Weiping under his New Pictures Film banner.

“The Flowers of War” is inspired by true life events, and tells a genuine story of hope, love and sacrifice.

Bale plays an American trapped amidst the chaos of battle, and the ensuing occupation, takes shelter, joined by a group of innocent schoolgirls and 13 thirteen courtesans, determined to escape the horrors taking place outside the church walls.

Pic is executive produced by David Linde, Chaoying Deng, and Bill Kong. International sales are handled by FilmNation Entertainment.

The deal was negotiated by executive producers Linde and Deng along with attorney Stephen Saltzman of Loeb & Loeb on behalf of the filmmaker, Zhang Weiping, by Chris Ball and Rene Cogan on behalf of Wrekin Hill and Brandt Andersen on behalf of Row 1.