On June 29, German film director Sven Toddicken was awarded the grand prize at the 2007 Taipei Film Festival for his movie Emma's Bliss. Since the director could not attend the awards ceremony in Taipei, a representative from the German Cultural Center received the US$30,000 prize money on Toddicken's behalf and forwarded the money to him, according to a news report.
The prize money is provided by the Taipei City Government, which is obviously aware that the public relations value of the annual film festival is immeasurable. The city government is to be congratulated for seeing the value of providing such a prize and this is an example others should follow.
Every January or February, the annual Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) hosts publishers, editors and writers from around the world. I think it would be a marvelous idea for the TIBE organizers and the Government Information Office to set up a literary prize to honor one important book each year, with a prize of US$30,000 going to the author of the book.
A literary prize of this nature would be a great public relations investment for Taiwan. I hope to read about such a prize next year.