Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Peace Independence Democracy Unity Prosperity
The Government No.: 246/GOV
Vientiane Capital, dated 23 July 2014
DECREE ON FILM
The Government hereby issues a Decree:
This Decree defines principles, regulations, and measures on the management, monitoring, and inspection of the organization and operation of films in order to ensure the rights and duties of organizations, legal entities, and individuals participating in the operation of the film business with the aim of ensuring the systematic and uniform management and inspection of films countrywide; thereby enabling films to be one of the tools contributing to the protection and promotion of the fine cultural heritage of the nation and its ethnic groups and ensuring its sustainability and existence within the Lao PDR for the future.
Film is a summarized art and an entertainment media that can be widely accessed and displays motion with voice and sound recorded on film, video cassette, CD, DVD, hard disk, or other recording media to be broadcast to the public electronically.
Terms used in this Decree shall have following meanings:
The Government has the following policies on the promotion of film:
This Decree applies to domestic and foreign individuals, legal entities, and organizations operating and conducting film production, distribution, and publication services, and film shooting businesses in the territory of the Lao PDR.
Types of Film
Films are classified into the following types:
A documentary is a program that explains or describes any subject in detail from the beginning till the end or clearly clarifies any matter with the purpose of providing audiences with news, evidence, and information in a systematic manner which includes two characteristics as follows:
Scientific films refers to a summary of current advanced techniques to clarify and explain matters for the knowledge of audiences.
A cartoon film refers to an animation made through technical and electronic shooting processes which causes the cartoon to be animated.
A narrative film refers to an art performance which is made based on actuality. The film includes the following characteristics:
Film businesses consist of the following types:
Local and foreign Government organizations, mass organizations, social organizations, legal entities, and individuals living or located in the Lao PDR that wish to produce a film must submit the film contents to the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICT) for approval prior to shooting and producing the film.
Foreign organizations, legal entities, and individuals wishing to shoot a film in the Lao PDR must submit an application and the film contents, scripts, and other relevant documents to the MICT for permission. All documents must be in Lao.
Foreign organizations, legal entities, and individuals wishing to produce a narrative film regarding the Lao PDR must submit the film contents to the Embassy of the Lao PDR in the country where they are living or located prior to shooting and producing the film.
Personnel for film production are as follows:
Personnel for film production operating a film production business must have a film operation permit in accordance with applicable laws and regulations which has been duly issued by the MICT.
Individuals, legal entities, or organizations wishing to export and import films for distribution and providing services in the Lao PDR must obtain permission from the MICT prior to exporting or importing.
Films to be imported into the Lao PDR for distribution and service must have appropriate and useful contents which give knowledge to and entertain audiences; are not contradictory to Government policies, the administrative regime, or national culture and traditions; and does not affect any other countries across the globe.
Films to be exported to foreign countries for distribution and service must have appropriate contents and promote the national culture and traditions.
Individuals, legal entities, or organizations wishing to show foreign films in the Lao PDR must obtain approval of the film contents from the MICT or the provincial or capital Division of Information, Culture and Tourism of the locality prior to the service provision. All films must be dubbed into the Lao language except for scientific/technical films and foreign language lessons but the act of projecting the film without the permission of the relevant authorities is prohibited.
For publication of Lao films and foreign films imported for distribution and projection in the Lao PDR, an applicant must submit an application and required documents to the MICT.
The required documents for film publication consist of:
Within 10 working days from the date of receiving a correct, complete application and required documents and after inspection of the film contents, the MICT must consider and issue permission for film publication. Where permission is not given, a response clearly indicating the reasons must be sent to the applicant.
Film publication has the following forms:
Films to be broadcast on television must have been permitted by a Government film authority or a managing director of Lao National Television.
Films projected in a theater or outdoors shall comply with the following:
The MICT is in charge of organizing film weeks and national and international film festivals in the Lao PDR from time to time.
Ministries, ministry-equivalent bodies, international organizations, and provincial and capital administrative authorities are in charge of organizing film weeks and film competition festivals with a specific technical knowledge, subject to the written approval of the MICT. Films to be shown in festivals must have been approved and permission granted by the MICT.
Local and foreign organizations and legal entities may show foreign films subject to the written approval of the MICT.
A request letter to hold a film festival, a film competition based on specific knowledge and subject matter, or a request for showing a foreign film in the Lao PDR must indicate the purpose, scope, timeframe, venue, film name, and objective of participants; within ten working days from the date of receiving the request, the MICT must consider and respond in writing whether it approves or not. If not, the MICT must issue and send a response indicating the reasons to the requester.
Film production, distribution, and publication businesses and television units at each level of the Lao PDR may participate in film festivals, film competitions, and international film exhibitions and may organize Lao film weeks in foreign countries subject to the written approval of the MICT;
Organizations, legal entities, and individuals in foreign countries wishing to organize film festivals, film competitions, international film exhibitions, and film weeks regarding the Lao PDR must obtain permission from the Embassy of the Lao PDR located in such countries;
Films submitted to film festivals, film competitions, international film exhibitions, and Lao film weeks in foreign countries must have been granted permission for publication by the MICT prior to the submission.
Copies of Films
Local and foreign individuals, legal entities, or organizations shooting documentaries, narrative films, animation, or other films in the Lao PDR must send one original of the film to the MICT within twelve months to be kept in its archive. Films produced in any form shall be sent to the MICT in such form such as: 16 mm film, 35 mm film, video cassette, CD, DVD, hard disk, or other means of record.
The MICT acts as a national film archive to manage the storage of films, preserve and protect films in accordance with technical standards, and monitor the inspection and resolution of film quality to ensure it lasts for an appropriate period of time.
Film Management and Inspection
The government manages films on a centralized and uniform basis countrywide by assigning the MICT to be directly in charge of liaising with relevant authorities and local administrative authorities to implement the management of films.
Film management and inspection authorities consist of:
In the management of films, the MICT has the following rights and duties:
In the management of films, the provincial and capital Divisions of Information, Culture and Tourism have the following rights and duties:
In the management of film, the district and municipal Offices of Information, Culture and Tourism have the following rights and duties:
Other relevant authorities, organizations, and parties have obligations and duties to liaise with the Information, Culture and Tourism authority to manage, promote, and develop films based on their roles.
Film Dispute Resolution
The resolution of disputes in general regarding the incorporation, operation, or conducting of film business shall be made by litigants through amicable reconciliation. If the dispute cannot be resolved by such amicable reconciliation, it must be submitted to the MICT or provincial or capital Division of Information, Culture and Tourism where litigants are registered for resolution in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
International dispute resolution regarding films shall comply with international contracts or conventions to which the Lao PDR is a party.
Film operators are prohibited from:
Film staff and participants in festivals and exhibitions are prohibited from disseminating information that conflicts with the professional ethic of Lao film specialists, is vulgar, or conducting other acts as stipulated in Article 32 herein.
Other organizations and individuals are prohibited from:
Official Fees and Service Charges
Individuals, legal entities, and organizations operating film production businesses must pay official fees and service charges in accordance with the Presidential Edict on Fees issued from time to time.
Official fees must be contributed to the Government budget in full. The service charges shall be reported to the Ministry of Finance on a regular basis.
Awards for Good Performance and Measures Against Violators
Individuals, legal entities, and organizations with outstanding performance in contributing to film work shall be rewarded by medals of honor, complimentary medals, certificates, titles, and other appropriate policies.
Individuals, legal entities, and organizations that violate this Decree and applicable laws and regulations shall be subject to measures depending on the severity of each case, such as disciplinary measures, fines, temporary suspension of business, withdrawal of film business licenses or film operation permits of film specialist, civil compensation, or penal sanctions.
The MICT is assigned to liaising with relevant authorities to effectively and strictly implement this Decree.
Ministries, ministry-equivalent bodies, local administrative authorities, legal entities, and individuals shall acknowledge and strictly implement with this Decree.
This Decree is effective from the date of the promulgation by the President of the Lao People's Democratic Republic and fifteen days after posting on the Lao Official Gazette.
Any regulations or provisions that conflict with this Decree shall be canceled.
The Prime Minister
[Signature and seal]
|Authorization for producing films relating Lao PDR||Any foreigner wishing to produce any film relating to the Lao PDR must apply for authorization from the Lao PDR embassy in the country where such film will be produced.||Active|
|Film import-export authorization||The importation or exportation of any film, into or out of the Lao PDR must be authorized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.||Active|
|Films submission requirement||Any films produced in the Lao PDR must be submitted to the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural within twelve days from the completion of production.||Active|
|Inspection of films prior to public display||All films to be publicly displayed in the Lao PDR must first be inspected and approved by the Information, Culture and Tourism sector.||Active|
|Requirement to obtain approval before distributing a movie over television||The display of any movie on television in the Lao PDR must be authorized by Director of National Television.||Active|
|Requirement to obtain ID card for staff employed in the film industry||All individuals engaged for employment in the film sector must apply for an identification card from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.||Active|
|Requirement to obtain the authorization for film production||Any individual or enterprise wishing to engage in film production must obtain prior authorization from the Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism.||Active|
|Requirement to obtain the authorization for foreigner's to record film||Foreigner wishing to record film in the Lao PDR must obtain prior authorization from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.||Active|