China’s latest film net leaps on air with ‘Tiger’

Channel expects 1,500 pix to unspool in first year

SHANGHAI — Changchun Film Group’s movie channel kicked off Jan. 1 with a screening of Ang Lee’s Oscar winner “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Movie net, China’s third to open in the space of a month, brings the nation’s total to four.

China Central Television’s CCTV-6 was China’s only domestic film channel from 1996 until early December, when first Shanxi province’s capital city Xi’anand and then Shanghai launched their own.

Content for the channels largely comes from local film studios.

New net will be managed by CFG’s production wing, Changchun Movie Production Group, the oldest film production company in the country, which has been creating films and TV series since 1955.

Films will be broadcast from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.; a spokesman for the channel predicts that over 1,500 films will be played in the first year.

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has issued special licenses for the movie webs, with a slate of rules published to govern them, including limits on the amount of foreign content allowed (15 films a year) and minimum levels of film content (45%) in relation to TV series and documentaries. These rules do not apply to state-owned CCTV-6.

Two more channels, in Sichuan province’s Chengdu and the prosperous southern province of Guangdong, have already received licenses and are expected to begin broadcasting in the first quarter.

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