What Are the Penalties in Vietnam for Making a Film?


Quick Answer

Film makers can legally make films in Vietnam, but films considered anti-government remain illegal, as of 2015. While the maximum penalties for such films depend on the nature of the film and its maker, they are normally severe if the government considers them particularly subversive.

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Full Answer

Foreigners making films that the government of Vietnam considers to be anti-governmental are handled on a case-by-case basis. If diplomatic treaties protect the individual, the government of Vietnam and the government of the individual's country of origin may negotiate how to handle the issue. However, if no such treaties exist, the individual could face fines, imprisonment or deportation, depending on how authorities feel about the content of the film and the effects it could have on the country. Political activists and other notable intellectuals that have made films the government consider to be especially subversive have been subject to article 77 of Vietnam's criminal code (attempting to overthrow government) which establishes a maximum penalty of death. However, since 2002, the government no longer censors intellectual property before its completion, so any censorship or charges against the filmmakers tend to occur after or just prior to release. Consequently, a filmmaker could potentially avoid punishment by opting not to release the film.

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