Draft amendment to cinema law receives controversial comments

March 30, 2022 - 08:00

The first meeting of full-time deputies of the 15th National Assembly (NA) wrapped up on Tuesday after a discussion on a draft amendment to the Law on Cinema and Law on Insurance Business.


Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyễn Văn Hùng speaks at a meeting of full-time NA deputies about a draft amendment to the law on cinema on Tuesday. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — The first meeting of full-time deputies of the 15th National Assembly (NA) wrapped up on Tuesday after a discussion on a draft amendment to the Law on Cinema and Law on Insurance Business.

In the morning, when discussing the Law on Cinema, deputies discussed proposed amendments to film production, particularly film production by foreign individuals and organisations in Việt Nam, and post-inspection.

Referring to regulations on film production in Việt Nam by foreign organisations and individuals, some suggestions stipulated that the application for a licence should only require a script for a movie summary in Việt Nam instead of the screenplay. 

Delegate Trần Văn Lâm from Bắc Giang Province said that it was necessary to further simplify administrative procedures, especially those on appraisal and licensing to foreign organisations and individuals who wanted to make films in Việt Nam

“The current regulations are too strict,” Lâm said, adding that more flexible regulations are needed to better attract foreign filmmakers to promote Việt Nam’s country and people to the world. 

“Strengthening state management is necessary, but it is also not necessary to do things that are too specific and meticulous, causing difficulties and constraints for film activities,” he said.

Other deputies suggested clarifying the film production cooperation process and responsibilities of domestic cinema establishments when providing film services to foreign organisations and individuals.

Deputy Trần Thị Hoa Ry from Bạc Liêu Province said that incentives to attract foreign filmmakers to Việt Nam to make films was very important, contributing to promoting the images of the country and Vietnamese people, speeding up the development of cinema and tourism and related services.

For cinematographic films that serve political tasks, the State should have a mechanism to encourage, sponsor and invest, Ry said.

It was also necessary to minimise the phenomenon in which there are too many weak scripts, she said, calling for further investment in scripting and tightening post-inspection to prevent poor-quality cinematographic works.

Deputy Nguyễn Thị Phú Hà from Hòa Bình Province said that the draft should further clarify the issue of investment in film projects using the State budget.

Moreover, administrative reform and other solutions should be deployed to attract social resources to film production activities, encouraging more and more organisations and individuals to participate in film-making activities, she said.

“No free lunch”

Responding to deputies’ concern about the fund for cinema development which has been part of cinema law for the last 16 years but has yet to be established, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyễn Văn Hùng said that the regulation on the fund should be kept in the revised law.

Hùng said that it was partly the fault of the ministry as an advisor to the Government in establishing the fund.

But, keeping the provisions in the draft meant that if the country had a fund to support the development of the cinema industry, we would not depend on some foreign funds that wanted to sponsor with conditions.

"We know well that there is no free lunch, “ the minister said.

Regarding the plan to provide film production services to foreign organisations and individuals, the new draft says that only a movie summary script and script details of the content filmed in Việt Nam is required, when applying for a film production licence, instead of the full movie script as stated in the draft submitted to the National Assembly at the 2nd session.

However, Hùng still insisted that the full script should be provided.

"We study the cinema laws of China and Thailand, they all require a full script,” Hùng said.

He cited a US film that included shots about a soldier who joined the Vietnamese war. Nothing was wrong with the script that was filmed in Việt Nam at that time, however, other shots that were filmed in the US presented different things which call the Vietnamese fight against invaders ill-gotten war.

“If we don't understand the overall script and accept the segment in Việt Nam, it will affect political security, national defence and security in the future. Who will be responsible for it?” Hùng said. — VNS