China Parliamentary Sessions 2015

China censors ban films at personal whim; delegate urges overhaul

Delegate to national political advisory body says movies are banned on the personal whims of officials and their actions need to be controlled.

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 March, 2015, 10:45am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 March, 2015, 10:00am

A delegate on China’s national political advisory body says the system for censoring films needs to be overhauled because it is unfair and relies too heavily on the personal opinions of government officials, state media reported.

Scriptwriter Wang Xingdong, who co-wrote the screenplay for the film The Founding of a Republic, said there needs to be greater legal oversight and control of censors’ actions, Xinhua reported.

“Sometimes even if a film has been approved by the censoring committee, it can still get its broadcasting license revoked because it is disliked by some officials,” he said.

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Most films made in China are initially vetted by the authorities in the provinces or municipality where they are shot and produced.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television is the main national censor.

Pilot schemes have been introduced in Jilin, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Shaanxi and Hubei to allow provincial governments to have the final say on films release.

The political advisory body the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference is holding its annual session in Beijing, starting this week.