Fri, Sep 23, 2005 - Page 17 News List

A French festival organizer battles Hollywood

The president of Festival des 3 Continents will stay in Kaohsiung for a week to present the festival and support film projects

By Ho Yi  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwanese directors and film professionals are frequent guests at the Festival des 3 Continents.

PHOTO COURTESY OF KAOHSIUNG FILM

French have done a decent job of protecting our culture. We have gained lots of experiences protecting our film industry against Hollywood and we have also worked with many countries for development of cinema as a whole. Our protection policy ensures the well-being of local film productions and encourages local talents to make good-quality films. So if anyone wants to fight against the US invasion, we think we can be of some help," Alain Jalladeau said, sitting on the sofa at a hotel lobby on Da'an Rd, Taipei.

This gray-haired gentleman is the president of Festival des 3 Continents, Nantes, and the guest at this year's Kaohsiung Film Festival, which is set to open tonight on the bank of Love River.

In view of the urgent need to further facilitate international exchanges, Kaohsiung Film Festival has organized a Nantes program this year, showcasing films that have been screened at the French festival in the past.

Jalladeau was invited on this occasion to share with local film professionals, government officers, experts in the industry and academics, the development of the Taiwanese film industry.

Founded by the Jalladeau brothers, Alain and Philippe, in 1979, the Festival des 3 Continents (F3C) has positioned itself as a pioneering showcase for independent films from Asia, Latin America and Africa. In its 26 years of existence, the festival has presented over a thousand films and discovered countless talents and directors such as Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢), Tsai Ming-liang (蔡明亮), Chen Kai-ge (陳凱歌) and Abbas Kiarostami from Iran, to just name a few.

Over the years, FC3 has established a long-term affinity with Taiwanese cinema and become an important channel to introduce Taiwanese films to French audiences. The festival has organized numerous programs on both new and old Taiwanese directors, and there are Taiwanese films screened at the festival almost every year.

Jalladeau has visited Taiwan at least a dozen times and has been hailed as a foreign expert on Taiwan's film industry.

When asked what he thought of the local industry in general, the veteran curator responded, "I think Taiwan has the best directors in the world, but it's weird to me that Taiwanese directors like Hou Hsiao-hsien have to produce their own films. They have to go to Japan or Europe to find money. Taiwan should be able to finance and produce its own world-class movies."

"In my view, there are lots of talented artists who can make good movies, but 90 percent of them will create great films with good producers standing by their sides," he said.

This is probably the main reason why F3C initiated its "Producing in the South" plan four years ago. Producing in the South is a workshop held annually which offers technical, financial and legal information to selected producers from southern regions.

"The lack of an established industry and of communities of producers in southern countries has often forced directors to

produce their own projects. Our plan is to train producers with financing and marketing strategies, offer advice on every aspect of filmmaking, from how to fine tune your scripts, find proper cast, to how to `pitch' your project to possible investors," Jalladeau said.

The workshop is designed to establish a co-production mechanism between the North and South, and help southern producers build up healthy filmmaking environments in their own countries.

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