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Indian actress Soha Ali Khan will star in a film inspired by bombings in Mumbai.

PHOTO: AP

A Chinese movie sharply critical of deteriorating morals amid the country's rapid economic growth will finally hit theaters later this week after being heavily censored and delayed for a key Communist Party meeting, its producer, Fang Li (方勵), said.

Director Li Yu's (李玉) Lost in Beijing (蘋果), which describes the fallout after a Beijing foot massage parlor owner rapes an employee from the countryside, will be released today and is expected to show at about 500 movie theaters, the producer said.

In its uncensored form, Lost in Beijing is a damning indictment of greed and lust in modern Chinese society.

Explicit sex scenes were cut from the movie, Fang said. He also cut out a side character, as well as scenes showing dirty streets, gambling, the Chinese flag and Tiananmen Square.

Fang said the film has also been sold to distributors in North America, Europe, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and South Korea.

A quixotic look at the life and times of legendary singer Bob Dylan was nominated for four Spirit Awards, the Oscars of the independent film world.

I'm Not There, which features Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere and four others playing incarnations of the enigmatic singer, was nominated for best feature; supporting actress for Blanchett; supporting actor for child performer Marcus Carl Franklin; and best director for Todd Haynes.

Also nominated for best film were A Mighty Heart, The Diving Bell and Butterfly, about paralyzed French author Jean-Dominique Bauby; Juno, about a pregnant teenager and others.

Nominees for best actress include Angelina Jolie for her role in A Mighty Heart, Ellen Page for her Juno, and China's Tang Wei (湯唯) for Lust, Caution (色,戒).

Foreign film nominees included Romania's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, an Israeli film called The Band's Visit, an Irish drama Once, Lady Chatterley and Persepolis from France.

The prizes are open to movies that cost less than US$20 million to make and which played in theaters for a week or at a top festival.

Sundance, the main US showcase for independent film also announced nominees this week. Winona Ryder, Nick Nolte, Anjelica Huston and Paul Giamatti will be among those competing for top honors at the festival.

Also included were documentaries on writer Hunter S. Thompson, musician Patti Smith and filmmakers Roman Polanski and Derek Jarman.

Taking place Jan. 17 to Jan. 27 in Park City, Utah, Sundance has chosen 16 films in its dramatic competition for American fictional films, including director Geoff Haley's The Last Word, starring Ryder, Wes Bentley and Ray Romano in a romance about a reclusive writer who crafts suicide notes for other people.

Also competing in a lineup heavy on tales of families at odds are: Rawson Thurber's The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, the story of a young man with a gangster father who embarks on a soul-searching summer after college; Clark Gregg's Choke, a mother-and-son tale; and Paul Schneider's Pretty Bird, a dark comic narrative of entrepreneurs trying to invent a rocket belt.

The bombing of Mumbai's commuter train network that killed nearly 200 people last year has inspired a new Indian film.

Directed by Nishikant Kamat, Mumbai Meri Jaan, will recount the death and devastation through the eyes of a female journalist, a witness to the carnage.

"The film is inspired from what happened during and after the blasts," said actress Soha Ali Khan, who plays the reporter.

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