Fri, May 05, 2006 - Page 15 News List

Media for the public's sake

By Ginger Yang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Media professionals from over 20 countries are set to give public service broadcasting a boost.

PHOTO COURTESY OF INPUT

The first INPUT, International Public Television Screening Conference, to take place in Taipei opens on Sunday through May 12. More than 1,400 local and overseas professionals in the audio-visual industries will attend the event at which 85 films from 35 countries, grouped into 27 themes, will be screened.

INPUT is the only international conference that focuses on innovative programs produced by public broadcasters. With its 30th anniversary soon approaching, INPUT is making its first foray into the East this year to tap Asian markets, Hu Yuan-hui (胡元輝), president of Public Television Service Foundation said.

The organizer of the conference, Taiwan's Public Tele-vision Service (PTS) Foundation, has invited senior staff from 20 countries to join the 2006 Public Broadcasters Global Media Summit on Multiculturalism. Delegates of KBS and MBC from South Korea, NHK from Japan, ARTE from France, MDA from Singapore, the BBC from the UK, CBC from Canada and SSR from Switzerland will participate in the event. Local interest has been huge, and places at the conference are already fully booked.

The subject of the conference, with its focus on multiculturalism, has become an issue of great significance in the post-Sept. 11 world. Speaking about the controversy that rocked Denmark over the publication of satirical cartoons depicting Muslim prophet Mohammed, Hu said that he would be very interested in gaining a deeper understanding of multicul-turalism as defined by the Danish public TV station executives and their attitude to the dispute.

Audiences will also have the chance to discuss their views with filmmakers after each screening.

"If the program makers fail to show up, then the screening of their work will be canceled," Hu said.

Directors like Christian Frei, who won an Oscar nomin-ation for War Photographer, will show his Giant Buddhas, and Wang Shui-bo (王水泊), an Oscar nominee for Sunrise Over Tiananmen Square (天安門上太陽升), will discuss his They Chose China (他們選擇了中國) with delegates.

In an interview with the Taipei Times, Hu said that creativity and innovation were key elements in the criteria for selecting programs to be screened at the event.

"INPUT has two characteristics: one is independence, the other is creativity. If the program is good it won't be screened if it lacks creativity, " Hu said.

Compared to other countries, Taiwan's public television system is relatively small, and this conference is a great opportunity to expand relationships with other media around the globe. Hu said that by providing the opportunity for local media professionals to view powerful and innovative works from around the world, INPUT would help stimulate the local television industry and also provide a good opportunity to seek partners for co-productions.

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