To Get Movies Into China, Hollywood Gives Censors a Preview

The world’s most populous country and big market for entertainment imposes tough restrictions on films with sex, violence, politic, ghosts or Chinese villains. So China’s censors get a first peek at major Hollywood films, sometimes even sitting in on film shoots. Negotiations and edits can ensue. “The lure of access to China’s fast-growing film market – now the world’s second largest, behind that of the United States – is entangling studios and moviemakers with the state censors of a country in which American notions of free expression simply do not apply,” report Michael Cieply and Brooks Barnes for the New York Times. International ticket sales, a major source of film revenues, are worth billions. One key for breaking into China’s market is adding Chinese actors, story lines and locations, “But the more closely a film examines China, the more likely it is to collide with shifting standards, unwritten rules and unfamiliar political powers who hold sway over what can be seen on the country’s roughly 12,000 movie screens,” reports the article, even describing spies on set to monitor compliance. Cooperation can disintegrate into self-censorship, coercion and corruption. – YaleGlobal .

To Get Movies Into China, Hollywood Gives Censors a Preview

China is the world’s second largest film market; censors prefer Chinese characters, stories, locations – and meeting the stars and attending early screenings
Michael Cieply, Brooks Barnes
Monday, January 21, 2013
Copyright © 2013 The New York Times Company

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