The Stipulation of Administration on Chinese-Foreign Film Co-production

"The Stipulation of Administration on Chinese-Foreign Film Co-production", which was passed at the SARFT Executive Meeting on June 15, 2004, is now issued and will come into force from August 10, 2004.

XU Guang-chun

Minister

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television of

The People's Republic of China

July 6, 2004


The Stipulation of Administration on

Chinese-Foreign Film Co-production


Article I

"The Stipulation of Administration on Chinese-Foreign Film Co-production" has been made in accordance with "The Regulations on Administration of the Film Industry" in order to boom film creation and production, to protect the legal rights and interests of the Chinese and foreign film producers and relevant personnel in Chinese-foreign film co-production, and to promote the exchange between Chinese and foreign film industries.

Article II

The Chinese-foreign film co-production in this Stipulation refers to films which are jointly produced by co-financing, assisting or commissioning in and/or outside of China between the Chinese film producers (hereinafter referred to as the Chinese Side) who have obtained "The Film Production Permit" or "The Film Production Permit (Single Film)" in a lawful manner and the overseas film producers (hereinafter referred to as the Foreign Side).

Article III

The Stipulation shall apply to such films (including films shot on film stock, digital films and television films) as features, cartoons and animations, scientific and educational films, documentaries and topical specials, co-produced by the Chinese and foreign sides in and/or outside of China.

Article IV

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (hereinafter referred to as the SARFT) of the People's Republic of China is responsible for the administration of Chinese-foreign film co-production.

Article V

The Chinese-foreign film co-production includes the following forms:

1. Co-production, referring to a film which is co-financed (including funds, labor or in kind) and jointly produced by the Chinese and Foreign Sides, with sharing of benefits and risks,

2. Assisted Production, referring to a film which is solely financed by the Foreign Side and shot in China with paid assistance by the Chinese Side by providing equipment, facilities, locations, labor and etc.; and

3. Commissioned Production, referring to a film which is commissioned by the Foreign Side to be made in China by the Chinese Side.

Article VI

The Chinese-foreign film co-production should abide by the following principles:

1. To accord with the Chinese Constitution, Chinese laws and regulations and other relevant stipulations;

2. To respect the customs, religions, beliefs and living habits of all the nationalities in China;

3. To help develop the excellent cultural tradition of the Chinese nation;

4. To help promote the economic, cultural and moral construction and social stability in China;

5. To help promote the exchange between the Chinese and foreign film industries; and

6. To avoid damaging the interests of any third country.

Article VII

The Chinese government implements the Permit System for Chinese-foreign film co-production.

No entity or individual in China that has not obtained "The Chinese-Foreign Film Co-production Permit" or the relevant document of approval should co-produce any film with any overseas entity or individual. Without the relevant approval no overseas entity or individual should produce any film independently on Chinese soil.

Article VIII

The applicant should satisfy the following requirements to apply for Chinese-foreign film co-production:

1. The producing entity of the Chinese Side (including the joint venture film production company approved to be registered in China, similarly hereinafter) should possess "The Film Production Permit" or "The Film Production Permit (Single Film)"; and

2. Neither the Chinese Side nor the Foreign Side is in the penalty period of ceasing film production due to its violation of "The Regulations on Administration of the Film Industry".

Article IX

The applicant should submit to the SARFT the following documents and materials for applying Chinese-foreign film co-production:

1. The application for film co-production project establishment from the producing entity of the Chinese Side;

2. Copies of "The Film Production Permit" or "The Film Production Permit (Single Film)" and the Business License of the producing entity of the Chinese Side;

3. Three copies of screenplay in standard Chinese characters;

4. Documents of financial credit of the Foreign Side and information about the proposed co-production;

5. Letter of Intent or Agreement of Co-production between the Chinese Side and the Foreign Side, which should clearly state the proportion of investment by each side, the proportion of main talent and cast from each side, the place for negative processing and post production, and whether the access will be made to any Chinese or foreign film festivals (exhibitions) and etc.; and

6. Brief filmography of the main talent and cast.

Article X

The procedure for examining and approving the application for Chinese-foreign film co-production project establishment is as follows:

1. The producing entity of the Chinese Side files an application to the SARFT;

2. The SARFT accepts and processes the written application from the applying entity within the time limit as stipulated by "The Administrative Licensing Law";

3. Once they accept the application, the SARFT should decide whether such application for project establishment is approved or not within 20 (twenty) working days. If the screenplay requires to be appraised by experts from other fields, the applying entity should be notified of it and such appraisal should be completed within 20 (twenty) working days;

4. If the application meets with the requirements of co-production, a single- film based Chinese-Foreign Film Co-production Permit will be issued. If the application meets with the requirements of assisted or commissioned production, the Document of Approval will be issued. A written notification should be given if the application is rejected.

Article XI

Once they have obtained the Chinese-Foreign Film Co-production Permit or the Document of Approval, the two sides should sign a contract in accordance with such approval.

Article XII

The Chinese-Foreign Film Co-production Permit is valid for a period of two years.

Article XIII

When a co-production needs to invite main talent and cast from abroad, it should be reported to the SARFT for approval and the main cast from abroad should not exceed two thirds of its total main cast.

Article XIV

A putonghua (common speech of the Chinese language) version of the co-produced film should be made and the subtitles should be in standard Chinese characters. To cope with the requirements for distribution, it is allowed to use the putonghua version of the film as the master version for the production of other language versions in corresponding countries and regions, and for ethnic groups.

Article XV

A completed co-production film should go through the initial examination by the local radio, film and television bureau at the provincial level before being sent to the Film Censorship Committee of the SARFT for censoring; a film co-produced by a film production entity directly under the Central and State institutions or granted with "The Film Production Permit (Single Film)" should be directly sent to the Film Censorship Committee of the SARFT for censoring.

Article XVI

Only after it has passed the censorship and acquired "The Film Public Exhibition Permit" can the co-produced film be distributed and shown in and outside of China.

After it has passed the censorship, the film of assisted or commissioned production can be taken out of China upon the Document of Approval by the SARFT.

Article XVII

If there is a need to make alteration to the completed film that has obtained "The Film Public Exhibition Permit", the two producing sides should apply to the SARFT for approval.

Article XVIII

The negative processing and post production of a co-produced film should be done in China. If the co-producers need to get this done overseas due to particular reason, it should be reported to the SARFT for approval.

The remaining negatives and footages of the co-produced film are temporarily kept by the Chinese Side and can be taken out of China in six months after the film is released overseas.

Article XIX

When the co-produced film needs to be sent to any Chinese or foreign film festivals (exhibitions), it should be filed with the SARFT in accordance with the relevant regulations.

Article XX

The Foreign Side must employ crew members and workers through the Chinese Side and sign contracts with the employees in accordance with related Chinese laws and regulations.

Article XXI

Actions violating this Stipulation shall be penalized in accordance with the relevant articles of "The Regulations on Administration of the Film Industry".

Article XXII

This Stipulation applies to co-producers from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region and Taiwan Region coming to co-produce films in Chinese mainland.

Article XXIII

This Stipulation will enter into force on August 10, 2004 and at the same time Decree 19 of the SARFT, i.e. “The Stipulation of Administration on Chinese-Foreign Film Co-production” by the SARFT is repealed.