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Foreign films 'would boost economy'

[ 2009-06-19 13:25]     字号 [] [] []  
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Allowing more foreign films to be shown in China would benefit the economy, an associate professor at the Beijing Film Academy said.

"It's the truth that most foreign films are not available in China's cinemas," said Du Qingchun.

"Compared to the number of imported clothes and cars, the foreign films we can see in theaters are so few."

"From an economic perspective, we should give up the quota and let the market decide."

Du's comments follow those of Dan Glickman, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), who urged China to open its theaters to foreign films at a seminar during the Shanghai International Film Festival, which runs until June 21.

China needs to "make the most of the collective economic opportunity by nurturing the health and growth of the legitimate marketplace," Glickman told the seminar attended by officials and business leaders on Monday.

China created a record 406 feature films last year. The box office revenue increased 30 percent to 4.34 billion yuan ($638 million) over 2007 and realized a continuous annual growth of 25 percent since 2002.

To protect the local film industry, however, China permits only 20 foreign films a year for theatrical releases. The quota doubled in 2001 from the original ten in 1994, thanks to China's WTO accession.

"A healthy film industry and vibrant marketplace can bring great economic opportunities to both of our countries, and these opportunities serve as the foundation that keeps this vital artistic and creative medium vibrant," says Glickman.

Lin Xiaoxia, Du's colleague in the academy, thinks the quota has a reason to exist at present.

"Chinese films are too weak to compete with American ones so far, so it is understandable that the government still wants to protect the local industry, providing time and space for its growth," she says. "But I believe a completely open market is the ultimate trend."

MPAA recently met with the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), China's top industry regulator, and "told them that the limitation on foreign film numbers is not in the best interests of both US producers and Chinese consumers," according to Glickman.

Zhang Hongsen, deputy director of the State Film Bureau affiliated to SARFT, confirmed the meeting but refused to comment.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Foreign films 'would boost economy'

Foreign films 'would boost economy'Brendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.