Turkey: Turkey Announces New Rules Regarding Cinema Films

Last Updated: 1 April 2019
Article by Işık Özdoğan, LL.M. and Ece Berkman

The Law to Amend the Law on Evaluation, Classification and Support of Cinema Films ("Amendment Law") was published in Official Gazette number 30671 on 30 January 2019.

The Amendment Law introduces new provisions for the movie theatre operators, including much-discussed promotional ticket sales. These provisions are as follows:

  • Movie theatre operators cannot sell another product along with a cinema ticket.
  • The pre-show ads cannot exceed 10 minutes. Trailer display should be between three to five minutes. Public service ads and social responsibility projects are not included in the specified periods.
  • The break time during the screening cannot exceed 15 minutes.
  • Movie theatre operators cannot carry out subscription, promotion, campaign, and mass sales activities regarding cinema tickets except for discounted ticket pricing, which may be determined under the contract executed with the film producer or the distributor.
  • Movie theatre operators are obliged to have the hardware and software specified by Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism ("Ministry") to transmit information to the Ministry about film screenings.

The Amendment Law has abolished the Advisory Board and set forth the establishment of the following boards and commissions to fulfil the mentioned duties:

  • Supporting Boards: Up to four supporting boards will be established based on their specialization areas in order to evaluate the applications made in the fields of project development, film production, post-production, distribution and promotion of domestic films to determine the ones to be supported.
  • Commission for Supporting Series and Foreign Films: It will be established to evaluate the applications made regarding series and foreign films and to determine the ones to be supported.
  • Commission for Film Shooting Coordination: It will be established by the Ministry to determine the needs and solutions related to cinema films and series, to ensure coordination between institutions and to determine the shooting fee tariff and draft safety principles in public areas. The working principles will be regulated by the regulation to be issued by the Ministry.

On the other hand, the Amendment Law has preserved the provisions regarding censorship and has brought more detailed arrangements:

  • The film produced in the country or imported will be continued to be evaluated and classified prior to commercial distribution or screening. In accordance with the Amendment Law, films that are not found suitable after evaluation and classification may not be commercially distributed or screened.
  • Films that are neither evaluated nor classified can only be displayed in festivals, special screenings and similar cultural and artistic events with the sign of 18+ ages. The films, which were previously evaluated and classified by the Ministry, should be presented in accordance with the signs and phrases they received at the relevant events. The necessary signs and phrases in these events are obliged to be used in all kinds of presentation and demonstration areas.
  • The administrative penalties have been increased for those not complying with the evaluation and classification obligation, not using or misusing mandatory signs.

The provision regarding advertisement periods before films and promotion sales of cinema tickets will enter into force on 1 July 2019 while the other provisions entered into force on the date of publication.

Please see this link for full text of the Amendment Law (only available in Turkish).

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Authors
Işık Özdoğan, LL.M.
Ece Berkman
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