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MPAA Chief Charles Rivkin on China: ‘Ours Is a Shared Future’

Making one of his first speeches as the new head of the Motion Picture Association of America, Charles Rivkin described a shared future between the U.S. and Chinese film industries.

He was speaking at the annual U.S.-China Film Summit, organized by the Asia Society, and held this year at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

Rivkin, himself a former film executive, described “the fundamental significance of our shared storytelling.”

“Imagine not having Chinese audiences. Can we envision a world where American audiences could not watch Jackie Chan or ‘Wolf Warriors II.’ In reality we live in a shared world,” Rivkin said. He described how U.S. television shows, such as those of Jim Henson Company, encouraged critical thinking in Chinese children.

“Our two film markets have been undeniably successful — and the future holds even greater promise,” Rivkin said. “However, seizing potential growth — and overcoming the challenges ahead — will require cooperation. … By building on this common foundation, we can bring audiences around the world more of the content they love. We can continue to create jobs and drive economic growth. And we can represent our ideals to the world, while better understanding the values of others.”

He then moved to familiar MPAA themes on the need to open up international trade and reduce film piracy.

“The 2012 MOU (that set quota and distribution terms) has been instrumental in expanding trade. We sincerely hope that the re-negotiations will build on this foundation,” he said.

“We were also very pleased to see the introduction of the Chinese Film Promotion law in June,” he said, among other things that introduce civil and criminal action against pirates.

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