New laws turn lens on domestic film industry

Updated: 2015-10-31 07:28

By Xu Fan(China Daily)

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A draft law to promote the country's movie industry-widely regarded as a milestone move-was submitted to the country's top legislature for the first-round review on Friday.

The first of its kind in Chinese cinematic history, the draft law aims to regulate the fast-growing market, support domestic filmmakers and boost international cooperation.

The administrative approval for programs set to shoot will be simplified, according to Cai Fuchao, director-general of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

For example, screenplays with nonsensitive themes will no longer need to be examined but will only have to report their storylines to authorities, Cai said, while explaining the draft to the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

The committee meets once every two months and a draft law usually needs to receive at least three reviews before being passed.

According to the draft, applications for general release should be answered in 30 days, and rejected movies should be given the reasons why they are turned down.

Highlights also include the enhancement of copyright protection and the standardization of box office management.

China has nearly 290,000 screens in more than 5,800 cinemas.

"China's box office has seen the fastest-ever growth in recent years, but the industry's development still lags behind the rapid growth," said Zuo Heng, deputy director of cinema studies at the China Film Archives.

"It's good to see a law make it clear for filmmakers what they can do or cannot do in some fields, despite some terms still seeming a bit ambiguous," he said.