Notice Concerning Persisting in Stopping Secretive Import and Projection of Smuggled Films and Severely Attacking Film Smuggling Activities
(20 October 1989 RBF No. (1989)788)
A period ago, in a number of cities of regions such as Guangdong, Hainan, Fujian, Guangxi, etc, it emerged that cinemas and theatres openly put up advertisements and sold tickets for projection of Hong Kong, Taiwan and foreign smuggled films and films coming from other improper channels, amongst which a number of films had vulgar and unbearable content, of completely low-class appeal, creating a harmful influence on society. According to investigations, these smuggled films are old copies of old programmes from Hong Kong and Taiwan from the sixties and seventies, illegally transported and imported by Hong Kong film smugglers.
Of theatres openly selling tickets and projecting this sort of film, some solicit the audience under the name of “specially supplied film” or “window film”, some cancel domestic film projection as they please, and illegally project smuggled films. Especially in a number of film distribution entities in Guangdong and Hainan, not only weakly prevent film theatre secretive projection of smuggled film, but also secretively import and distribute and project in those regions. A number of criminals engaging in film smuggling activities illegally seek quick profit by hook and by crook. Some smuggle films through roping in relatives and friends working in film work units, some take smuggled products through clusters of cities and village, seducing projection work units to project them, etc. At present, some of these criminals and their agents, after large-scale activities in Guangdong, have fled to regions such as Fujian, Hainan, Guangxi, Hunan, Guizhou, etc, this unhealthy trend must be determinedly wiped out.
Concerning film import, distribution and projection problems, Central Committee document no. (1980)33 clearly provides that “China Film Distribution and Projection Company is the only organ dealing in and managing film export and import business. Any other work units are not allowed to import foreign films.” State Council Document no. (81)SCA 156 reiterates: “all business concerning films imported from abroad and Hong Kong for distribution or preview copies (including 35mm, 15mm, Super 8mm, video tapes and video discs, etc., hereafter together named films), will be operated and managed by the China Film Distribution and Projection Company.” Secretively projecting smuggled films and secretively importing, distributing and projecting foreign films, Hong Kong and Taiwan films, violated relevant Central Committee and State Council regulations, on one hand it throws the film market into disorder, interfered with the orderly film import work of the State, is unfavourable to the production and projection of domestically produced film; on the other hand, conniving with unlawful smuggling activities, has abetted this harmful atmosphere of overprojection and smuggling of films. Concerning this, the wide masses and foreign persons are dissatisfied.
In order to determinedly implement the spirit of relevant Central Committee and State Council documents, stop secretive import and projection of smuggled films, the following is stipulated:
I, All localities’ every sort of projection work unit, are prohibited from now on to project smuggled films (including buying and renting them). Of those violating the responsible cadre in charge and the persons directly responsible shall be disciplined according to party discipline and government rules, its complete income from projection of and dealing in smuggled films will be confiscated by the administrative industry and commerce organ and turned over to the financial administration.
II, All film projection work units, if they discover criminals coming to demand projection of Hong Kong, Taiwan and foreign smuggled films, shall immediately detain their films, and in coordination with the local public security and administrative industry and commerce organs, deal with it according to the law. Detained films shall immediately be turned over to the provincial (regional, municipal) culture hall (bureau), for transfer to the China Film Archive for safekeeping.
III, All levels’ film distribution and projection companies are strictly prohibited from secretively importing films for distribution. Of those violating the responsible cadre in charge and the persons directly responsible shall be disciplined according to party discipline and government rules, its complete income from distributing and projecting will be confiscated by the administrative industry and commerce organ and turned over to the financial administration.
IV, All levels administrative culture and film distribution entities, shall strengthen communication with Customs, public security and administrative industry and commerce organs, take effective steps to put an end to film smuggling. Especially coastal region film distribution and projection work units, must timely initiate reports to higher-level controlling authorities to report the situation, and notify relevant entities such as public security, Customs and administrative industry and commerce, etc., persist in confiscating illegally transported and imported films according to the law, punish criminals smuggling films. Concerning smuggled films already scattered on the mainland, especially those with obscene or reactionary content, as soon as they are discovered, the source must be investigated persistently according relevant regulations, and assistance shall be given to public security and administrative industry and commerce management organs for further dealing with criminals. Confiscated films, except those of which it is clearly provided that they should be dealt with by public security organs and Customs, shall without exception be turned over to the provincial (regional, municipal) culture hall (bureau), for transfer to the China Film Archive for safekeeping.
V, All levels’ administrative culture entities shall strengthen film distribution and projection work unit management, it is necessary to educate and guide distribution and projection entities to consciously abide by Central Committee and State Council regulations, prohibit projection of smuggled films and dare to struggle with criminals. Concerning projection work units impenitently continuing to project smuggled films, their closure for rectification shall be ordered.
This notice shall be timely transmitted to all levels’ film distribution and projection companies, all film projection work units and all levels’ propaganda, administrative culture, public security, administrative industry and commerce organs as well as all localities’ Customs, and will be propagated to the cadres and the masses.