IFTA Supports US-Chinese Film Agreement

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Tue, 02/28/2012 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

The Independent Film & Television Alliance has praised the U.S.-Chinese Film Agreement which is designed to offer unprecedented opportunities for the U.S. Independent film industry in China.
 ”For Independents this agreement is momentous ” says IFTA president and CEO Jean Prewitt. “Our sector has been unable to benefit fully from the existing revenue-sharing importation quotas and has had limited avenues through which to distribute.  For the first time through this Agreement there is a promise of creating a commercial foundation that will allow independent producers to participate more fully in the Chinese marketplace.”
Prewitt says “In addition to improving the existing revenue-sharing regime under the terms of the Agreement China has committed to allowing new local companies to engage in local distribution to introducing transparency into censorship and importation decisions and to offering terms and conditions equivalent to comparable markets such as France and Germany.  Most importantly these changes will accelerate the development of a competitive marketplace in which both the U.S. and the Chinese independent film industries can flourish.”
 Prewitt went on to thank Presidents Obama and Hu Vice Presidents Biden and Xi their negotiators and U.S Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk and his team for their tireless efforts to achieve this Agreement.
China has agreed that licensing arrangements should be negotiated on commercial terms comparable with other markets proportional in size. Additionally the pact encompasses key provisions that are considered standard practice elsewhere including audit rights approval of sub-licenses consultation on marketing campaigns and the ability to designate a choice of law when disputes arise.
Moreover censorship rejection cannot be enforced as a material breach of the Agreement. Instead the licensor and China’s State-Owned Enterprises will now work together to find a solution when these situations arise.
  China has also agreed to affirm that no law or regulations can prevent other Chinese enterprises from actively engaging in the distribution of imported films.  In fact the Chinese government will now promote the entrance of other distributors into the marketplace.