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New security laws the latest blow to Hong Kong’s film sector



In another hit to the industry, authorities are cracking down on censorship as they take reign of the region’s video scene.

Film sector under fire

In their latest national security push, Hong Kong authorities will begin scanning old films to ensure they don’t breach newly imposed censorship laws.

It’s the latest round of measures in a large-scale crackdown designed to discover and punish Beijing’s critics and political opponents.

The move was implemented by authorities following the largely violent democracy protests which overran the city two years ago.

Initially, authorities previously announced that all future films would be scrutinised back in June.

However, this latest update goes even further.

What new regulations are in place now?

The new regulations enforce that all films released before the crackdown will also be scanned. 

Hong Kong’s national security laws are designed to prevent any material or behaviour that is considered to be secession, subversion, terrorism or collusion with foreign forces.

Almost all of the individuals who have been arrested under the new measures so far are pro-democracy supporters. 

Those charged can face up to three years behind bars under the new law, while also paying $177 thousand Australian dollars in fines. 

Additionally, venues caught showing films that failed to receive green-light approval will have their viewing licenses revoked. 

Hong Kong follows suit

The new laws will draw on similarities of China’s ruling in regards to the release of films.

Yet some believe this is a drawback for the region renowned for their historically cultural film scene. 

It has also had repercussions on film and documentary companies, with many cancelling a number of recent or upcoming productions and costing the sector thousands. 

Yet, while it’s just another fallback for the film industry, Hong Kong’s strict nature in relation to security laws should come as no surprise.

Earlier this year, Hong Kong media was targeted in pro-democracy newspaper raids.

An army of 500 police officers raided the computers and notebooks of journalists, looking for content that breached national security.

Written by Rebecca Borg

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