Top prize to get 'preferential treatment'

New way to beat the quota system in China: win top prize at the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival.

China Film Group Corp. Saturday announced that it may give the winning film at next month’s SIFF (June 16-24) “preferential treatment” for import into China.

China operates a system that allows only 20 films per year to be released on a revenue sharing basis and sets China Film as the sole legal importer of movies. A further 40 films per year can be imported on a flat fee basis.

In a notice posted on the SIFF Web site, China Film said, “The winning film selected by SIFF’s jury panel composed of leading international film industry professionals, will be the first choice for import by CFGC.”

The festival has not yet announced its competition line-up and it was not clear whether the prize consists of revenue sharing or flat fee distribution.

Quotas and other restrictions to China’s distribution sector are subject of a formal U.S. complaint to the World Trade Organization.

SIFF is China’s only A-list fest and is this year celebrating its 10th edition.

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