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Censorship could hamper China's Hollywood dream

world Updated: Apr 24, 2012 01:30 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

China emerged as the second biggest market for movies after Japan earlier this year but strict control over content could hamper big budget joint productions with Hollywood.

James Cameron, whose Titatnic and Avatar pulled in record money in China, indicated Monday that he would have to weigh issues like censorship before beginning work a joint production of a movie here.

"The (Chinese) government is clear about (giving) incentives for co-production. Like the agreement with Disney," he said, adding, however, that were issues like the government giving "consent” and getting "approval of scripts” from the authorities. Cameron said he would need to "weigh the pros and cons very carefully.”

"I'm here to explore the idea of a co-production, find out what restrictions need to be met, find out what content guidelines need to be met, and find out the economic incentives are, and I will weigh them all out.”

Cameron should know: authorities here inexplicably cut out the scene in the new 3D version of Titatnic where a nude Kate poses for De Caprio. Interestingly, the scene was retained when the original was released 15 years ago.

The authorities are particularly sensitive about anti-government or anti-Communist Party of China (CPC) sentiments. It even has a cap of 20 on foreign movies per year that could be screened here.

Ironically, according to China Daily, the number of China's cinema screens has increased from 4,753 in 2006 to 10,700 in 2011.

Cameron was speaking an hour before the 2nd Beijing International Film Festival was inaugurated on Monday.

Only two Indian films will be screened at the fest: Gattu, produced by the Children's Film Society of India and Band Bajaa Baraat.