‘Regulations’ Tag
China Unveils Tax Breaks, Funding to Boost Local Film Industry
Beijing, June 19th (Hollywood Reporter)

The policy document from major ministries is aimed at making the film business in China more competitive.

The Chinese government has unveiled a major policy document from several ministries designed to boost the film industry, with tax incentives and a fund to support certain state-approved movies.

The measures are aimed at “enhancing the overall strength and competitiveness of Chinese films,” the finance ministry said in a statement on its website.

The funds will be aimed at developing the film industry to promote high-tech production. A fund will allocate $16 million (100 million yuan) every year to support between five and 10 films with “influential themes.” It will also finance “competitive films,” support Chinese films overseas and offer assistance for more professional movie website design.

The proposed tax incentives could have a major impact locally. A film company’s income from copyright transfer, film distribution and screenings in villages and rural areas will be exempt from tax. There will also be tax exemptions for distribution in central and western China, where much of the country’s rapid cinema building is underway.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

China Film Import Quota Will Open Up in 2017, Says Top Local Producer
Beijing, April 16th (Hollywood Reporter)

Hollywood has long pushed for free trade in the booming Chinese film market, and producer and CCTV executive Lu Hongshi says it’s just a matter of time.

China’s quota system restricting foreign movie imports to 34 titles a year on a revenue sharing basis will open up further in 2017-2018, a senior producer and industry adviser said, emphasizing that the country’s filmmakers need to be ready to face the challenge of greater Hollywood competition.

“The China import quota share will open up in 2017-2018. Chinese filmmakers should be ready for that,” Lu Hongshi, vp of the China Movie Channel CCTV-6, told a panel at the Beijing International Film Festival on Wednesday.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

MPAA’s Chris Dodd: China Will Give More Access to Hollywood Movies
Beijing, April 18th (Hollywood Reporter)

The exec believes the country will expand the quota of 34 films that can be imported on a revenue share basis.

Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) president Christopher Dodd is confident that China’s quota system restricting foreign movie imports to 34 titles a year will be lifted in coming years as Beijing honors its regulatory responsibilities.

The world’s second largest film market signed a memorandum of understanding agreement on its current quota system with the World Trade Organization in 2012, valid for five years. This means the second round of negotiations will start in February 2017.

Dodd said he was hopeful that a deal on expanding the quota of films on a revenue share basis would be reached by then.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

China’s Foreign Movie Quota Set to Expand — For Arthouse Films
Hong Kong, April 11th (Hollywood Reporter)

If you’re paying attention to the rapid changes in China’s booming film industry — and you should be, considering its box office hit $1.08 billion in the first quarter, more than the total for the entire year of 2009 — the past few weeks have seen dizzying activity. What it means for Hollywood is complicated:

While it’s not official, insiders tell THR that the rumors are true: The annual limit on imported films — now at 34 — will be raised to 44. The catch? The new guidelines likely will open the market only to art-house-style releases. It’s a savvy move because “prestige” pics normally don’t take a bite out of China’s share of the box office. The country’s ruling party has made homegrown hits a priority, and it shows: Of the $3.6 billion in grosses in 2013, $2.12 billion, or 59 percent, came from domestic films.

Still, more access to foreign films means more opportunities for those all-important Hollywood-China partnerships. Just don’t expect Nebraska to pack them in at the Beijing multiplex.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

Hong Kong Filmart Abuzz With Talk of China Market Liberalization
Hong Kong, March 24th (Hollywood Reporter)

Industry insiders at the annual market discuss a slew of recent developments that seem designed to make China a more open and hospitable market, but some remain cautious.

The possibility of liberalization of mainland China’s distribution system, news of a simultaneous U.S. and China launch for Johnny Depp’s Transcendence coupled with the sight of Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson selling Captain America: The Winter Soldier at a Beijing shopping mall, the buzz at the annual Filmart market is all about how the world’s second-largest film market is becoming a more open and hospitable place.

The destiny of Hong Kong’s film business is inextricably linked to that of Mainland China, and developments north of the border are closely watched in the territory as just about everyone seems to have just come back from Hollywood for talks.

The last few weeks have seen a lot of activity, with Shanghai Media Group, China’s second biggest media group, inking a multi-year deal with Walt Disney Studios, and Huayi Bros announcing plans to inject up to $150 million into former Warner Bros. top executive Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

China Set to Award Landmark Second Theatrical Distribution License
Beijing, March 23rd (Hollywood Reporter)

The license will be issued to state-backed China National Culture & Art Corporation this week, breaking China Film Group’s hold on distributing imported movies.

The Chinese government is set to announce a second theatrical distribution license, breaking China Film’s monopoly on distributing revenue-sharing movies in the world’s second biggest film market.

The license will be awarded to the state-backed China National Culture & Art Corporation, which is linked to the Ministry of Culture, and senior government officials from the Ministry of Propaganda are expected in Hong Kong to announce the deal on Thursday.

China raised the number of foreign films that can be imported on a revenue-sharing basis to 34 in 2012, and sources recently said that there are plans afoot to raise the quota number again.

As it stands, the China Film Group and Huaxia Film Distribution are the only two companies allowed to handle theatrical distribution of foreign movies in China on a revenue-sharing basis.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

China’s Censors Clamp Down on Booming Internet Video Sector
Beijing, March 20th (Hollywood Reporter)

The new rules will require censorship approval for all streaming video, which could dampen recent growth of Hollywood content sales to the country’s Internet giants.

China’s top industry watchdog has introduced a policy of “censor first, broadcast later” for local Internet companies streaming TV shows and movies, which could mean tighter control over online distribution of Hollywood content in China.

From now on, online companies will have to employ government-approved censors to vet content and obtain a censorship license, then monitor content before it is broadcast, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) said in a statement on its website.

Online companies like Sohu, Youku Tudou and Baidu have been showing TV shows such as House of Cards and Modern Family after doing their own internal censorship. Sales to such sites had been viewed as a promising, and potentially very lucrative, new distribution channel for Hollywood in the country.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

Foreign film studios see slow progress in China
Beijing, March 17th (Want China Times)

Six major US film studios have set their sights on mainland China, but they appear to know little about the market despite sending individuals to China two decades ago to discover and build an entertainment system similar to Hollywood, reports the Shanghai-based China Business News.

NBC Universal, the parent company of Universal Studios, announced in November last year that it will establish an independent office and pursue more co-productions in China, while Warner Bros has seen success in China by importing films such as the 1993 US thriller The Fugitive, and most recently the sleeper hit Gravity.

As the studios first tried to establish themselves in China many years ago, the paper interviewed a number of individuals about their experiences working in the Chinese market, as well as what they thought about Hollywood’s past and future in China

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Source: Want China Times

China to Decentralize Censorship Process for Local Films
Beijing, March 7th (Hollywood Reporter)

Provincial film bureaus will be given authority to independently review movies, part of a plan to streamline the lengthy approval process.

China’s top film regulator is planning to decentralize the censorship process for local movies, granting bureaus in the provinces the power to examine films, as part of an effort to streamline the approvals process.

As it stands, filmmakers face lengthy waiting periods for approval of their movies from the Film Bureau in Beijing, which is part of the official watchdog, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT).

Hong Kong actor/director Jackie Chan and leading mainland Chinese director Feng Xiaogang made passionate pleas this week for less censorship of their films in China at a high-level Communist Party meeting in Beijing.

The move is due to happen in April and in theory it means that local films will get to cinemas more quickly. What is not clear is whether the change will mean it is easier for local directors to get controversial content past censors.

The censorship of imported Hollywood films, and co-productions with international firms, will remain under the control of the central Film Bureau in Beijing.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

Chinese Authorities Tighten Rules for Box Office Reporting
Beijing, January 23rd (Hollywood Reporter)

The country’s industry watchdog issues guidelines to prevent theaters from underreporting ticket sales to dodge taxes and cheat distributors.

China’s entertainment industry watchdog has introduced new rules clamping down on movie theaters manipulating box office data, viewership figures and other forms of fraud related to ticket sales.

The State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SGAPPRFT) has issued a circular with a new standard on the technicalities of managing cinema ticket sales. The rules are aimed at stopping tax avoidance by falsifying the numbers of moviegoers and reporting artificially reduced ticket sales.

“Film distributors should conduct routine inspections of cinemas and report those that break the rules whenever and wherever they are discovered. Persistent or severe offenders may have their licenses revoked,” the watchdog said, quoted by the Xinhua news agency.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

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