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Film Watchdog: No Ceiling on Movie Imports from US

The Film Administration under the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) denied Wednesday setting a ceiling on movie imports from the United States.

The Shanghai Youth Daily reported Tuesday that the Chinese government decided to import a maximum 14 US movies annually among its 20 movie import quota.

The information office of the Film Administration told Xinhua Wednesday that the administration has never issued such a policy but the country always perseveres in importing a variety of movies.

The worry about the monopoly of US movies in the Chinese marketis rising among local communities.

Among the 20 imported movies last year, 18 were from Hollywood. The exceptions were a film of Hong Kong Kung-fu star Jackie Chan and one from the Republic of Korea.

The imported movies have lacked cultural variation and taste in recent years, acknowledged Prof. Ni Zhen from the Beijing Film Academy quoted by the Shanghai Youth Daily.

Film importers are trying to import movies from as numerous countries and cultures as possible, said the source with the China Film Group, one of the only two film importers in China.

A French film week was held in early April this year with ten movies put on, and attracted favorable response.

But Hollywood films obviously have a bigger market. The Return of the King of the Lord of the Rings trilogy grossed 28 million yuan (approximately US$3.4 million) in the first three days after its opening in this spring.

Chinese are likely to watch Hollywood-made Troy, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Spider-Man 2 this summer.
(Xinhua News Agency May 27, 2004)


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