Lifting screenplay reviews an established regulation: official
Updated: 2013-07-19 13:18
The cancellation of the review and approval system for screenplays of "general films" is already an established regulation, a Chinese official has confirmed.
Despite online discussions about the country's movie review and approval system, Zhang Hongsen, head of the film bureau under the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, told Xinhua, "The regulation has been in practice since 2006, and it's a reiteration this time."
A circular issued Wednesday by the State Council, or China's cabinet, stated that the administration has canceled reviews and approvals for general film screenplays. Instead, summaries for such productions will still be subject to public notification.
This regulation was put in place in order to make the system more streamlined.
According to the former State Administration of Radio Film and Television, major revolutionary and historical dramas, documentaries and movies jointly produced by Sino-foreign filmmakers are not classified as general films.
The administration's vague term of screenplays of "general films" triggered online discussions hours after the circular was released, with many netizens describing it as meaningless.
"It would be a good thing, but how do you tell the difference between general and not general?" Chinese film director Lu Chuan wrote on his Sina Weibo account, China's equivalent of Twitter.
Well-known Chinese film director Jia Zhangke expressed similar concerns on his Sina Weibo account. He said the clause is vaguely-worded and films will continue to be subject to pre-screen approval.
However, he added that it is still a step forward from reviewing screenplays to reviewing summaries of screenplays.