When the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television in March, state media said a proposed new body overseeing radio and TV management would fall directly under the State Council, i.e., more firmly under the thumb of the Communist Party. But a question mark was left over what was to become of film oversight. With Wang’s appointment, the situation is now gaining some clarity. Film management is assigned to the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party’s Central Committee.
The 55-year-old Wang was born in Jilin province and attended law school at Jilin University. He joined the publicity department of the communist party in 1986 and became the department’s Deputy Director in 2009. Wang is also the spokesperson for the department since 2010.
Moving movie oversight to the CPC’s Propaganda (or publicity) division is a means to maximize film’s special role in propaganda, ideas, culture and entertainment and develop a prosperous movie industry. But it also likely signals increased censorship and the promotion of homegrown patriotic films like last year’s Wolf Warrior 2 and the recent Operation Red Sea, the Middle Kingdom’s top two grossers ever at $854M and $554M, respectively.
The key responsibilities of the Propaganda Department on film oversight are managing administrative affairs; guiding and supervising production, distribution, and screening; organizing the review of movie content; guiding the coordination of major national movie activities; and undertaking cooperative foreign productions, international cooperation and exchange of input and output films.
In other moves, Fan Weiping was appointed deputy director of the State Administration of Radio and TV, while Zhuang Rongwen was also named director of the State Press and Publication Administration.