For all you movie going folks who want an alternative to buying fake DVDs (we know you’re out there!), Shanghai might be getting a “free market zone” where controls on imported movies will be relaxed and local film-makers can export their stuff to the rest of the world. Hurrah!
The zone will be located in Shanghai’s Wai Gao Qiao free trade district and will be called a “Special cultural administrative region.”
As reported by the Hollywood Reporter:
The proposed free trade zone in Shanghai’s Pudong district would be the result of an agreement signed in September by [Hong Kong’s] Salon [Films] and city government-backed Shanghai Oriental Huiwen International Cultural Services Trading Co.
“The Chinese government will be using Wai Gao Qiao as a testing ground for its cultural trade policies and strategic reform for import and export of films and other cultural products,” [Salon Chairman Fred] Wang said. “Salon is facilitating the policymaking with proposals such as a free market for imported motion pictures from the U.S. within the zone as well as an increase of exported Chinese films to the U.S.”
What? You’re not sure what he means or how a “special zone” will actually affect movie making? Us too! From what Wang’s saying, it seems like only theaters in Wai Gao Qiao would be allowed to show more than the 20 foreign films let into China each year… which honestly, sounds a little silly.
We’re also not sure how having a separate area dedicated to free movie making will help China export its cinematic goods better – does it mean films filmed in Wai Gao Qiao won’t have to bypass SARFT and other government censors?
Last we checked, the movie industry wasn’t run exactly like say… a computer factory or any other industrial/chemical company that’s enjoyed special administrative zone status thus far. In the past, the CCP’s taken issue not with the production part of movies, but their content. How is having one tiny area where content flows freely-ish going to work?