Desire Street is one of the few co-productions between Spain and China.
Eduardo González. Madrid
The cooperation agreement between Spain and China for the co-production of films, signed at the end of September during the official visit of Mariano Rajoy to Beijing and published last Wednesday by the Official State Gazette, implicitly grants China the right to veto the scripts before authorising their exhibition in the Asian country and even before being shot.
The objective of the agreement is “to improve the cooperation between the two countries in the cinematographic field” by promoting the co-production of films, “regardless of their length or genre, including fiction, animation and documentary films, with joint financing and co-produced by a Spanish and a Chinese co-producer”, according to information of the Official State Gazette.
“Prior joint approval by both competent authorities, a film co-produced according to this agreement will be considered a national production in the territory of both countries, having all the benefits in accordance to the national legislation in force in each of the territories”, it continues.
The agreement makes clear that “before starting to shoot, co-produced films (…) must have the approval of both competent authorities, which will have their respective policies, laws and regulations”.
The agreement allows Beijing “assessing” the scripts before the shooting and before authorising their exhibition
Besides, it specifies that “permission for public exhibition of co-productions will be granted in accordance with the Spanish and Chinese regulations” and it warns that, “in China, finished co-produced films will be presented to the competent authorities for their assessment”. “If the final version corresponds to the script approved, the competent authority will authorise the release of the film both in the continental China and abroad”, it adds.
Furthermore, the agreement establishes that “as a rule, in co-productions, the supply of technical, creative and artistic staff from each of the nations will be proportional to the economic contribution of each of the co-producers”, and it indicates that “the shooting with actors and animation works, such as graphic scripts, layout, main animation, intermediate stage and voice recording, will have to be, initially, carried out in Spain or in China”.