TV Documentaries to Need SARFT Pre-Approval

Chinese filmmakers and media experts have expressed skepticism about the practicality and motives of a new requirement for pre-approval of T.V. documentaries by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television. From Liu Dong at Global Times:

The new policy, which comes into effect immediately, stipulates that all television documentaries for public broadcast, produced by television stations, commercial studios and social organizations, should submit a content summary, cast list and shooting plan to SARFT before filming starts.

SARFT will then review all the information and publish the approved list of documentaries to TV stations. According to the announcement, the purpose of the new policy is to avoid subjects overlapping and resources being wasted.

[…] “I don’t know why they made this policy. Imagine the huge number of documentaries China produces each year, I doubt if they have enough manpower to fulfill this task. It’s almost mission impossible to carry out this policy,” Shu Haolun, professor at the School of Film and Television Arts of Shanghai University, told the Global Times.

[…] “Many documentaries involve sensitive topics which might upset the government. Now they can more easily reject such story ideas through this policy which I think harms our freedom of speech,” the CEO of an independent film production, who asked not to be named, told the Global Times.

The SARFT-unapproved but Oscar-shortlisted documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry will be shown on P.B.S. tonight (Monday, February 25th).


Subscribe to CDT


Google Ads 1

Giving Assistant

Google Ads 2

Anti-censorship Tools

Life Without Walls

Click on the image to download Firefly for circumvention

Open popup

Welcome back!

CDT is a non-profit media site, and we need your support. Your contribution will help us provide more translations, breaking news, and other content you love.