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Under a clause in Vietnam's new Cinema Law, foreign producers must give script summaries to the government in their applications to film locally.   © Illustration by Michael Tsang
Business Spotlight

Vietnam lures Hollywood crews but censorship hangs over film sector

One-party state's Cinema Law bans 'reactionary ideas and social evils'

LIEN HOANG, Nikkei staff writer | Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY -- If conflict is at the heart of a good movie, then Vietnam's cinematic tussle is this: Can it attract Hollywood to make movies in the country while still censoring filmmakers?

The Southeast Asian country last month revised its Cinema Law, detailing the hoops media companies must jump through to get permission for activities from shooting on location to screening films online. One of the aims is to attract production of more blockbusters like "Kong: Skull Island" and Spike Lee's "Da 5 Bloods," but some say Vietnam has lost the plot. The updated law also bans a wide catalog of content, including those deemed to contain "reactionary ideas and social evils."

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