Related News

  1. China box office up by 48% in H1 2015
    Foreign films take majority share
  2. Jia Zhangke to join Toronto jury
    Platform competition named after director's second feature
  3. Asian trio returns to Cannes competition
    Office does overtime for midnight slot
  4. Jia Zhangke to receive Carrosse d'Or
    Filmmaker is first Chinese recipient
  5. China B.O up 36% in 2014
    Domestic films take 54% market share
  6. Bullets premiere abruptly postponed
    Producer says 18 Dec release unaffected
  7. Filmex competition goes Middle East
    Jia Zhangke heads jury
  8. SAPPRFT to publish hourly box office data
    Data to be released via its Weibo microblog
  9. Black Coal, Thin Ice leads Golden Horse race
    Mainland China films dominate nominations
  10. South Korea and China sign co-pro deal
    Co-productions to be treated as local films
  11. Transformers breaks records in Greater China
    Biggest opening day ever in China
  12. 2014 China box office crosses RMB10 billion
    Local films take 56% market share
  13. Jeon Do-yeon, Jia Zhangke join Cannes jury
    Former winners on competition jury
  14. SAPPRFT denies reports of second import licence
    China Railsmedia claims yet to be substantiated
  15. Beijing announces competition line-up
    Beauty and the Beast to open festival
  16. Lu Chuan, Luc Besson projects get green light
    Enlight to produce Rao Xueman adaptation
  17. Lu Chuan joins Le Vision Pictures
    Company's 2014 slate of 15 films announced
  18. SAPPRFT to delegate censorship to local branches
    Move aims to shorten censorship process in China
  19. A Touch of Sin bypasses China quota in Taiwan
    Gala premiere ahead of mini-festival
  20. China to stamp out "box office stealing"
    New regulations have wide industry support
  21. China B.O. up 27% in 2013
    Domestic films take 59% market share
  22. Bullet sequel, Johnnie To musical approved
    November lists heavy on HK directors
  23. Fist, Z Storm, Taoist scripts approved by SAPPRFT
    October lists include high-profile co-productions
  24. Touch of Sin takes Abu Dhabi's Black Pearl
    Jia Zhangke wins US$100,000 at UAE festival
  25. China box office up 35% in 2013
    Local films' revenue grows 93.8% year-on-year
  26. China govt greenlights horse traders, heists
    List includes possible Lost in Thailand follow-up
  27. Crime thrillers recognised at China Media Awards
    Taiwan's Touch of the Light also awarded
  28. Touch of Sin targets November release
    Jia Zhangke announces domestic release on Weibo
  29. SPL2, Wolf Totem get China govt green light
    New films by Gu Changwei and Wong Jing also approved
  30. China govt denies banning Despicable Me 2
    Edko Beijing's Wayne Jiang exits
  31. A Japanese producer on co-productions
    Ichiyama Shozo on China, project markets and the Talent Campus Tokyo
  32. Venice to celebrate 70th anniversary with shorts
    Directors include Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Jia Zhangke
  33. Zhang Yimou's new film gets govt green light
    Chinese auteur's first film at Le Vision Pictures
  34. Shanghai celebrates female New Talent
    South Korea's Very Ordinary Couple takes top prize
  35. Jia, Chen, Kore-eda earn Cannes awards
    Palme d'Or to Tunisia's Blue is the Warmest Colour
  36. Secret Tips wins at Udine
    Rom-com is audience favourite at Italian festival
  37. Berlin File opens 15th Udine
    Films from China, Japan and South Korea dominate
  38. SARFT merged with press regulator
    Film body reorganised in government overhaul
  39. Mainland films lead Golden Horse race
    Mystery and Beijing Blues shortlisted
  40. Masoumi and Gao grab Golden Goblets
    Bear and Beijing Blues win at Shanghai
  41. Jia at home in Busan
    Chinese director to head Academy
  42. Youku kickstarts more micro movies
    Zodiac-themed series from leading Chinese film-makers
  43. Audience invited to all or nothing Supper
    Q&A with Lu Chuan
  44. Huayi expands film to TV
    Series to start shooting this month
  45. Shanghai explores genre conundrum
    Censorship, marketing and investment issues dominate SIFF forum
  46. HKIFF readies trio of tributes
    Jia, Kiarostami, Kuei to be hallowed
  47. Bong, Jia and Côté form Vancouver's Asian jury
    Dragons & Tigers competition announces eight from first-time directors
  48. Jia honoured in Toronto
    Chinese director named as one of ten directors of the decade

China government relaxes censorship process

China government relaxes censorship process

By Kevin Ma

Wed, 17 July 2013, 14:40 PM (HKT)

Industry News

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 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."

Sign up with your email address for our free weekly newsletter: