Fist, Z Storm, Taoist scripts approved by SAPPRFT
October lists include high-profile co-productions
Touch of Sin takes Abu Dhabi's Black Pearl
Jia Zhangke wins US$100,000 at UAE festival
China box office up 35% in 2013
Local films' revenue grows 93.8% year-on-year
China govt greenlights horse traders, heists
List includes possible Lost in Thailand follow-up
Crime thrillers recognised at China Media Awards
Taiwan's Touch of the Light also awarded
Touch of Sin targets November release
Jia Zhangke announces domestic release on Weibo
SPL2, Wolf Totem get China govt green light
New films by Gu Changwei and Wong Jing also approved
China govt denies banning Despicable Me 2
Edko Beijing's Wayne Jiang exits
A Japanese producer on co-productions
Ichiyama Shozo on China, project markets and the Talent Campus Tokyo
Venice to celebrate 70th anniversary with shorts
Directors include Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Jia Zhangke
Zhang Yimou's new film gets govt green light
Chinese auteur's first film at Le Vision Pictures
Shanghai celebrates female New Talent
South Korea's Very Ordinary Couple takes top prize
Jia, Chen, Kore-eda earn Cannes awards
Palme d'Or to Tunisia's Blue is the Warmest Colour
Secret Tips wins at Udine
Rom-com is audience favourite at Italian festival
Berlin File opens 15th Udine
Films from China, Japan and South Korea dominate
SARFT merged with press regulator
Film body reorganised in government overhaul
Mainland films lead Golden Horse race
Mystery and Beijing Blues shortlisted
Masoumi and Gao grab Golden Goblets
Bear and Beijing Blues win at Shanghai
Jia at home in Busan
Chinese director to head Academy
Youku kickstarts more micro movies
Zodiac-themed series from leading Chinese film-makers
Audience invited to all or nothing Supper
Q&A with Lu Chuan
Huayi expands film to TV
Series to start shooting this month
Shanghai explores genre conundrum
Censorship, marketing and investment issues dominate SIFF forum
HKIFF readies trio of tributes
Jia, Kiarostami, Kuei to be hallowed
Bong, Jia and Côté form Vancouver's Asian jury
Dragons & Tigers competition announces eight from first-time directors
Jia honoured in Toronto
Chinese director named as one of ten directors of the decade
China government relaxes censorship process
By Kevin Ma
Wed, 17 July 2013, 14:40 PM (HKT)
In a memorandum dated 11 July, which was only released by the central government today, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) 國家新聞出版廣電總局 announced that it will drop twenty of its current responsibilities.
The item getting the most attention in the Chinese media and from film-makers on social media is the official cancellation of "censorship for general topic scripts" (取消一般題材電影劇本審查), although there has been confusion over the terminology.
On his microblog, JIA Zhangke 賈樟柯 asked, "Then what is a 'non-general' topic?" LU Chuan 陸川 called the move a "good thing", but asked that 'general' and 'non-general' be clearly defined. GAO Qunshu 高群書 also praised the move.
This afternoon, Beijing News quoted a "source close to SARFT" that defined "general topics films" as meaning any work that does not discuss "religion, ethnic groups, foreign affairs and other special topics".
Until now, every feature film made in China (including co-productions) is required by law to submit a full script before being approved to shoot. Productions will now only have to submit synopses, or treatments, for production approval.
This has, however, already been an informal practice for local films for at least the past three years. (Government officials have been hard-tasked as the official number of domestic films entering production has grown ten-fold in the past decade.)
For local films, the move is arguably simply making a current practice official. If it is applied to co-productions also, it will represent a major shift that will significantly reduce bureaucracy. However such films may fall under "general topics".
There has, however, been explicit red-tape cutting for co-productions through a relaxation in the approval processes for the import of film-making equipment and film stock. Also, the duplication of foreign film prints will not need prior approval.
There will also be a decentralisation of responsibilities.
Film festivals that have a single-nation focus can now be approved by the local branches of the censorship body and not through its central Beijing branch. Similarly, approval for the manufacture of DVDs can be made at regional branches.
The memo also mentions the strengthening of other duties, including the spreading Chinese mass media products to the international stage as well as the supervision and regulation of digital/web media including online VoD sites.
Update: A government official has since confirmed to Sina.com that "script approval has not been in effect for 3-4 years now; we've only been looking at synopses, but this change had not been officially announced."