• Q:How can co-produced films participate in film festivals?

    A:Co-production companies are required to follow the Chinese regulations on participating in local or overseas film festivals. They must register at SAPPRFT and receive an approval before participating in film festivals.

  • Q:Can foreign co-production partners open a local bank account?

    A:Restrictions on foreign currency include limitations on the foreign currency entering China. Foreign production companies are not allowed to open bank accounts before production work begins, not even after the script approval is obtained. (Note: as this poses problems in the preparation for shooting. SAPPRFT is looking into the situation). There are strict banking requirements, for example, in regards to the receipts for paying extras and part-time helpers.

  • Q:What is the script approval process and what are the costs involved?

    A:According to CFCC it takes a total of 40 days for script approval – 20 working days for CFCC and another 20 working days for the Film Bureau. There is an effort to reduce this time to 30 days. Scripts that require editing or changes have to be resubmitted for approval. Reedited scripts, with minor changes, that are resubmitted and that have started production work will take 10 days or less for approval. Those that have “major changes/editing” that may require a rewrite or change of lead character may take longer for approval. The total film project application & management fee is RMB 15,000. The applicant pays RMB10,000 on submission (refundable if script is not approved), the balance RMB140,000 is payable upon script approval. For Hong Kong co-productions, the fee is RMB80,000.

  • Q:Can a co-produced film be distributed for theatrical release in China? How is theatrical distribution handled?

    A:Jointly produced films that have passed the censor ship review by the Film Censorship Review Board and have obtained the Film Public Screening Permit may be released in mainland theatres. The production companies, distributors and theatres may negotiate the screening dates and sign the relevant agreements, and the distributors will provide film copies one day prior to screening.

  • Q:Can a co-produced film be distributed for DVD release in China?

    A:What are the requirements? Jointly produced films that have passed the censorship review by the Film Censorship Review Board and have obtained the Film Public Screening Permit may be distributed in mainland China in the form of DVD, VCD and other audiovisual products. The format and picture resolution shall comply with the standards stipulated by the audiovisual product distributors.

  • Q:Can a co-produced film be distributed online? What are the requirements?

    A:Jointly produced films that have passed the censorship review by the Film Censorship Review Board and have obtained the Film Public Screening Permit may be released via the Internet in mainland China. The details of release should be negotiated between the concerned parties and relevant organizations.

  • Q:Are there any special requirements for the distribution of digital films?

    A:Jointly produced films that have passed censorship review by the Film Censorship Review Board and have obtained the Film Public Screening Permit may be released in digital theaters within mainland China. Screening dates may be agreed in advance with the digital theaters. However, the following technical requirements must be complied with: Sony HD-Cam master tape (16:9 FHA format, non-dialogue subtitles, audio channels 1 and 2 for Mandarin stereo channel, and audio channels 3 and 4 for soundtrack mix stereo channel). For Dolby 6 channels, the following should be provided: one DA88 (Mandarin 6 channels) – the time cue should correspond with the HD master tape, one DA88 (soundtrack mix stereo channel, channel 7 should solely be for Mandarin dialogue) – the time cue should correspond with the HD master tape.

  • Q:What are co-production cast requirements?

    A:With respect to joint productions, at least one-third of the total main cast members should be Chinese (from mainland China). The Chinese and foreign creative crew members should be of equal proportions. With respect to co-productions between Hong Kong and mainland film producers/companies, the cast requirement must be observed but there is no requirement on the parties’ creative crew; and there are no cast or crew restrictions with respect to assisted productions.

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