This is about the meta data of movies.

As far as I know the given year is the year in which the movie was first screened. But what does the given country mean?

  • The country in which it was filmed? So when a movie filmed in the US contains a scene filmed in Hong Kong, the movie data would read USA, China?
  • The country where the production company has its HQ?
  • The country where the film was edited/cut?
  • The country where the movie was first published?
  • something else?

Maybe a silly question, but I found no answer on the interweb.

1 Answer 1


My initial question in response "meta data as defined or stated by who"?

The short answer is that there is no worldwide standard for country of origin of a movie or tv production, particularly as country of origin often has copyright and country specific tax and other financing ties.

However broadly speaking when we are not talking about legal definitions most catalogs seem to define it in relation to the country of the production company/companies and certainly not where it is shot, edited or distributed.

The International Federation of Film Archives defines it in their document "Papers and Reference Tools for Film Archivists Dealing with Audiovisual Material" (pdf-reference) as

the country of the principal offices of the production company or individual by whom the moving image work was made

IMDB defines it as

... the country of a title as the place or places where the production companies for that title are based, and therefore where the financing originated. This means, for example, even if a title is shot on location in France, if its production companies are all based in the USA, we record the country as USA.

If a title is a multi-country production, the order the countries are entered into the addition/update forms is significant and will be reflected in the display order within IMDb.

However the laws and practices for this vary throughout the world.

  • Thank you for your research. I work a lot with imdb.com, but have to my embarrassment not found their help section.
    – Blue Box
    Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 16:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .