China launches film development plan

Country offer film biz financial incentives

BEIJING — China has launched a film development plan promising financial incentives and a favorable regulatory background to help forge a “great leap forward” for the biz.

Document issued by the State Council, China’s Cabinet, is an old-style, communist five-year plan and, like many handed down by China’s leadership, is stronger on stirring rhetoric than on detail.

It will most likely form an ideological backdrop to the development of the biz rather than a formal road map.

There is little encouragement for Hollywood execs hoping to enter China’s burgeoning market. The document underlines China’s quota system to promote domestic pics, saying the country’s growing ranks of cinemas must devote two-thirds of screening time to local films.

China permits around 20 foreign films a year to be released on a revenue-sharing basis. The government also has blackouts to massage B.O. figures so local films do better.

Last week, authorities pulled 2D showings of “Avatar” to make room for a state-sponsored biography of the philosopher Confucius, although apparently the at-best lukewarm reaction to the biopic has led authorities to relax the “Avatar” 2D ban.

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