Tue, Nov 25, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan's rich story charms Asia

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The traditional ''Eight Generals'' dance is performed at a press conference held by the Government Information Office yesterday to announce the screening of the ''Treasures of Taiwan'' series on the channels Discovery, Knowledge and Animal Planet.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

In a bid to increase the nation's profile in the Asia-Pacific region, the Government Information Office (GIO) has teamed up with Discovery Networks Asia to screen a series of locally produced cultural and ecological programs this month.

While the Treasures of Taiwan series premiered on Animal Planet's Treasures of Taiwan Vignettes program on Nov. 20, the series is scheduled to make its debut on the Knowledge channel's Taiwan Week on Sunday from 8pm to 10pm and on the Discovery channel's Treasures of Taiwan on Wednesday between 7pm and 9pm.

The series will be broadcast throughout the Asia-Pacific region, where the network has more than 155 million subscribers.

According to Kevin Dickie, vice president of the network's marketing and communications department, the collaboration between the GIO and the network is aimed at telling the rich story of Taiwan to an international audience.

"If you're making a film for one country, say for instance Taiwan, you tell the story in a [certain] way. But if you're telling the story for an international audience [then] you can't make those assumptions for [that] audience because you need to assume that they know nothing, so it needs a different story," he said.

One of the reasons that the network is so involved in local production is that it believes that it is an effective way to communicate with local documentary-making communities, Dickie said.

"When we launched nine years ago in 1994, we had zero local production and all the programming came from international sources," Dickie said.

"This year we've just passed the 10 percent mark [for local content] and we're committed to continuing with local production," he said.

In addition to cooperating with the GIO, Dickie said that the network has production partnerships with the Economic Development Board and the Media Development Authority in Singapore.

It also has a long-standing relationship with the New Zealand Tourism Board and has been working closely with other independent production companies throughout the region.

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