Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle today gently chided China for curbing free speech in cinema, but the British filmmaker said he would love to shoot a movie in the country.
Serving as jury president at the 12th Shanghai International Film Festival, Boyle told a panel discussion that it was "regrettable" that Beijing imposed restrictions on movies.
Chinese directors need to submit their scripts and their final products to censors for approval, with officials often demanding they cut politically sensitive and sexually explicit content.
In recent major examples of censorship, Oscar-winning director Ang Lee was asked to edit his 2007 spy thriller "Lust, Caution" so it appeared less obvious the main female character betrayed Chinese activists who plotted to assassinate a Japanese-allied spy chief.
Also in 2006, Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye was banned from making movies in China for five years after he screened his love story Summer Palace at France's Cannes Film Festival without approval.
"I know there are restrictions on filmmakers, which from our perspective, are regrettable. Great artists who work here, and there clearly are great artists, should be free. It's very important and valuable to the society that they are free," Boyle told a packed audience at a hotel ballroom in Shanghai.