Hong Kong passes censorship law against China's national security

The freedom of filmmaking in Hong Kong will be very much curtailed
The freedom of filmmaking in Hong Kong will be very much curtailed

29 Oct – In another blow to filmmakers, it was reported that opposition-free legislature of the Hong Kong government has now passed a new censorship law to "safeguard national security".

The new law, which was passed on 27 October, will enable the government to punish filmmakers critical of China up to three years imprisonment and USD130,000 in fines if found guilty of violations.

While Hong Kong has been very careful in making movies for the past several years, there still have been many film titles that are critical of the Chinese government, from the multi-directed anthology, "Ten Years", to Kiwi Chow's "Revolution of Our Times". But the arrival of the new law may curtail all that.

"The law would worsen self-censorship and fuel fear among filmmakers," said Kiwi about the new law.

Hong Kong would no longer be able to make dystopian movies like "Ten Years" following the passing of the new law

Many believed that the new law could further cause the decline in the Hong Kong film industry, with filmmakers who refuse to bow down to such censorship may opt to leave the territory instead.

At the same time, the new law is also a big concern for foreign content platforms, including streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, which have been offering full services in Hong Kong.

"One of the last vestiges of free speech in Hong Kong is now gone. The result is self-censorship by filmmakers who now have to question what might run afoul of the new rules and increased scrutiny by financiers and distributors who now must consider that very same question," said director Joe Piscatella to The Hollywood Reporter.

Streaming platforms may also be affected by the new law