Malaysia Considers Extending Film Censorship System to Streamers


CENSORING STREAMERS

Malaysia’s Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has said that he plans to hold meetings with the Communications Ministry with a view to extending the remit of the country’s Film Censorship Board (LPF) to video streamers. Currently, the LPF has jurisdiction over theatrical releases, but not content carried on the internet.

Malaysia has been notable in demanding cuts – sometimes refused by rights holders – to imported and local films, especially where they touch on religion or homosexuality, even tangentially. Hollywood films “Thor” and “Lightyear” were both banned. Last year, local director Amanda Nell Eu denounced the censored cut of her prize-winning film “Tiger Stripes.”

Speaking in parliament, Saifuddin said “the LPF will not approve the screening of any films that promote LGBTQ, communism, Islamophobia, and those conflicting Islamic beliefs.

VFX INVESTMENT

Japanese broadcaster TBS Holdings has announced “a significant capital investment” in Megalis a Tokyo-based VFX production company headed by co-CEOs Christophe Rodo and Jeffrey Dillinger. No details of the scale of the investment were disclosed, nor its financial value.

In a related move, TBS subsidiary The Seven has struck a partnership arrangement with Megalis. The company was formed in 2017 and works across film and TV drama with credits including Netflix’s “Yu Yu Hakusho” and the feature film “Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead.”

“By integrating Megalis’s unparalleled expertise in VFX production with its own diverse entertainment portfolio, it aims to enhance its content’s appeal on the global stage and expand its footprint,” TBS said. “These collaborations are pivotal to TBS Group’s ambitious global strategy, as outlined in its long-term vision, VISION 2030.”

“This collaboration marks a significant step forward in bolstering the company’s production capabilities,” said The Seven president Sugai Tatsuo.

TICKET TO RISE

Chinese cinema ticketing agency, Maoyan saw net profits grow three-fold in 2023 as audiences returned to theaters after the ending of COVID restrictions. Adjusted net profit hit RMB1.03 billion ($143 million) in calendar and financial year 2023. Revenues doubled to RMB4.76 billion ($661 million).

According to data released by the China Film Administration, total box office in China was RMB54.9 billion, a year-over-year increase of 83%. Local movies accounted for RMB46.0 billion of the total.

Maoyan has moved upstream into production investment and distribution services. Last year it was involved with the distribution or marketing of Chinese titles including “Full River Red,” “Creation of the Gods I: Kingdom of Storms” and “Shining For One Thing.”

In the current year slate, Maoyan was producer and lead distributor for “Pegasus 2” and had a distribution role in two other Lunar New Year hits “YOLO” and “Boonie Bears: Time Twist.”

WINSING WAYS


Chinese cartoon firm Winsing Animation, known for its “Jonny Jetboy” TV series and its “GG Bond” film franchise, has completed its first anime-style series “Shadows of the Void.”

A sci-fi anime with a narrative about two spirited girls who bravely confront the catastrophe “Voidflux,” overcoming formidable challenges and safeguard their homeland, will premiere from April 10 on the Bilibili platform.

The show is, “Infused with rich Chinese cultural influences, the series intricately weaves elements such as character attire inspired by Chinese motifs and combat sequences rooted in traditional martial arts like Wing Chun. The landscapes of the “Sand Zone” draw inspiration from the ancient Chinese city of Dunhuang,” the company said.

MULTIPLEX MOVES

Multiplex chain Cinepolis India has promoted CEO Devang Sampat to the role of managing director. Sampat served as CEO of the Indian operations of the Latin American and international chain that operates 441 screens in India under the brand names of Cinepolis, Cinepolis VIP and Fun Cinemas since its launch in the country 14 years ago. The region’s multiplex market leader is PVR Inox that operates 1712 screens across 359 properties in 114 cities in India and Sri Lanka.

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Elsewhere, following the 2023 appointments of Eduardo Acuna as CEO along with a new board chaired by Eric Foss, the Cineworld Group has set Thomas Song as CFO, Ben Hill as chief human resources officer, John Henrich as general counsel, former Cinepolis Asia and Middle East MD Javier Sotomayor as president of Cineworld International and John Curry as senior VP of commercial at Regal.



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