FASSA SAR WRITES – Chinese officials say that despite the country’s current prosperity, there’s trouble brewing: commercial films just aren’t socialist enough.

China’s legislature, National People’s of Congress, revisited a draft of a film law proposed in 2015 that attempts to regulate its domestic film Industry and Chinese-owned Hollywood studios.

Three-year box office highs have alarmed Country officials, believing that studios and film industry executives are manipulating box office numbers.

To rectify the direction of the film industry, the draft film law tackles issues including box office fraud, embezzlement, domestic film market, and criminal backgrounds of movie distributors to name a few.

It first addresses the issue of Hollywood commercial films dominating China’s film market. Commercial films such as Spider Man and Avatar are creating more revenue than homegrown films. The drafted law would mandate the film market to include two-thirds of films to be homegrown and limit imported films to 34 films a year.

In addition to limitations on imported commercial films, the proposed film law expands on its provisions to ban film distributors with a criminal background and high profile actors. Further, he stresses that celebrities themselves set the example, striving for “excellence in both professional skills and moral integrity.”

Films starring actors convicted of crimes are already ineligible for official awards and screenings. The push for tighter restrictions stems from a recent string of high-profile arrests of film celebrities involved in drug abuse and prostitution, according to the China’s official Xinhua news service. China’s State Administration for Press, Publishing, Radio, Film and Television, announced August 29th, that the goal is to continue to monitor “improper jokes”,  “defiling the classics” or “express overt admiration for Western lifestyles.”

The legislation’s broad scope raises an obvious question: Can intrusiveness by the state really enrich what, at the end of the day, is an artistic pursuit? No, believes China film consultant Rob Cain. “Your overriding concern is: ‘Am I going to be O.K.?’ You’re serving a taskmaster that trumps the audience. That doesn’t tend to make for great films.”

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