MPAA Head Christopher Dodd to Visit, Address Shanghai Film Festival

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The former senator will address a film co-production forum before meeting with officials in Beijing.

BEIJING – Former US Senator Christopher Dodd will give the keynote address at a film co-production forum on June 13 at the Shanghai International Film Festival as his first act in Asia in his new role as head of the Hollywood lobby the Motion Picture Association of America.

According to an MPAA official, Dodd, who joined the group in March, will make his first trip to China as the chief lobbyist for the interests of Hollywood’s big six studios at a time when China, the world’s fastest-growing movie market, appears to have ignored an international order to open its markets to more imported films.

By a March 19 World Trade Organization deadline, China was supposed to have allowed greater foreign participation in the distribution of imported copyrighted cultural content such as films, music and books.

Dodd already implicitly has criticized China by coming aboard at the MPAA with a strong anti-piracy message and one that advocates the opening of market access around the world to Hollywood films. China currently limits to 20 per year the number of film imports allowed to share in a percentage of the box office.

Dodd will spend a day and a half in Shanghai, where Rain Man director Barry Levinson will lead the festival’s main competition jury and News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch will give the keynote address at a film financing forum. 

Next, Dodd, the former Democratic Senator from Connecticut, will travel to Beijing where he will meet with the state-run monopoly film importer the China Film Group and with officials from the Film Bureau and the State Administration of Radio Film and Television.