Renowned Chinese film director Feng Xiaogang has lashed out at the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, the country's broadcasting and film regulator, saying 'ridiculous' censorship is detrimental to creativity. Beijing has been eager to project its soft power in recent years, by establishing the Confucius Institute language schools and by developing cultural industries. This week Li Changchun , a member of the top Politburo Standing Committee, pressed for reforms in the sector. But at a cultural reform conference held by the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on Friday, Feng said: 'The pressure of censorship has, in turn, been shifted to directors and creators. [Sarft] misinterprets and makes everything a matter of principle. Many modifications have gone so far to the point of the ridiculous,' according to a transcript on the People's Daily website. 'Being positive or negative has become the only standard to judge a film and, at the same time, creators are called on to make films able to withstand the test of time. Which of the world classics have been judged as positive or negative?' Feng said strict censorship left filmmakers little choice but to walk on the safe side, to rush to make films on historic events and to avoid contemporary topics. Feng also criticised the financial burden that Sarft imposes on film studios, saying it has hurt the indigenous film industry. For the past 21 years, Sarft has been collecting 5 per cent of box-office revenues for every movie. The money is put in a fund for developing the film industry, but this has been a burden not only to small studios but also for big companies, such as Huayi Brothers Media, the mainland's biggest and most lucrative private film developer. Huayi Brothers recorded 1.7 billion yuan (HK$2.08 billion) in box-office revenue and 80 million yuan in net profit last year. But the payments to the regulating body accounted for half of the company's profit.