New film law will strengthen movie industry: Culture minister

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - After the introduction of the Law on Film, Lao and international filmmakers will be more encouraged to produce films in Laos thanks to more specific rules.

Laos’ film industry will get a major boost in the coming years after the introduction of the Law on Film, according to the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Prof. Dr Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune.Prof. Dr Kikeo, who assumed the top post at the ministry earlier this month, on Wednesday expressed confidence in the positive benefits of the legislation when presenting the Law on Film to the 8th session of the 8th Legislature of the National Assembly for consideration and approval.

He said one of the key outcomes the ministry anticipates from the law is that Lao and international filmmakers will be more encouraged to produce films in Laos thanks to more specific rules.The detailed content of the law would be a useful source of reference for all film producers working in Laos, he told lawmakers, adding that the law clearly states what they can and cannot do.Apart from supporting the growth of the film industry, Prof. Dr Kikeo said the new Law on Film would provide clearer guidelines for the administrators of film production when addressing disputes.He also said the new law would enable film production administrators to learn from the international community about how to effectively regulate the film industry.

According to information supplied by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, which Vientiane Times obtained during the NA session, Laos currently has a Prime Ministerial Decree on Film as a tool to administer film production.The information states that the decree is no longer relevant to the current development context so it became necessary for the ministry to update the rules on filming and to make them into law to ensure effective regulation of the film industry.Dr Kikeo said that in order to draft the law, the ministry set up a committee to oversee the process, adding that the committee studied the content of similar laws in neighbouring countries before drawing up the draft. In addition, the committee held meetings with representatives of the film industry and other stakeholders to discuss the content.

Officials from the Ministry of Justice and the cabinet, as well as NA representatives, also scrutinised the content to ensure it was consistent with the state’s policy and other laws, Prof. Dr Kikeo said. Laos’ film industry is growing thanks to increasing public demand for Lao-made movies. At present, most of the films screened in Laos are imported. Many film producers have found that there are opportunities to make films in Laos and some have tried to produce films for the international market.

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