HK$1m fine for screening banned movies

Local | 24 Aug 2021 3:40 pm

Movies which “run contrary to national security interest” would be denied screening, according to proposed changes for Hong Kong's film censorship mechanism.

Those who screen banned movies would face a maximum penalty of three-year imprisonment and a fine of HK$1 million.

In a press conference today, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah explained five proposed changes to the Film Censorship Ordinance. The changes would be gazetted this Friday and tabled to Legislative Council Wednesday next week.

Under the ordinance, films screened in public must be approved by the Film Censorship Authority.

The changes to the ordinance would require a censor to consider whether a movie contains content which endanger national safety.

Based on national security grounds, Chief Secretary for Administration would have the power to cancel a movie's permission for screening obtained previously – meaning old movies would also fall under regulation.

If authorities are of the view that a movie may endanger national safety, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development should have power to extend the movie assessment period for 28 days each time.

The official did not answer whether certain movies or documentaries would fail to pass censors following the amendment, including the dystopian Ten Years (2015) which included a scene of self-immolation. 

LegCo will go through first and second reading of the amendment bill on Wednesday next week.

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