Sun, May 23, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Premier promises to provide cash for local filmmakers

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Local filmmakers winning international movie awards will be eligible for a reward of up to NT$100 million (US$3 million), Premier Yu Shyi-kun announced yesterday.

In addition, those investing more than NT$30 million in domestic film production would be entitled to a 20 percent tax break. Under the current rules, the tax break requires a minimum investment of NT$60 million.

While the Cabinet will fund the subsidy program with its supplementary fund, the tax deduction requires the approval of the legislature. Yu made the announcement yesterday afternoon after seeing the local production Viva Tonal (跳舞年代), which won best documentary at last year's Golden Horse Awards.

"As the film industry is the locomotive of the cultural and creative industry, we feel obligated to give it a boost in a bid to encourage local filmmakers to shoot more commercial films and to lure international filmmakers to invest in the local filmmaking industry," Yu said.

Although the Cabinet would like to let the proposed council take over the supervision of the film industry, Yu said the Government Information Office (GIO) will launch the initiatives because the industry simply cannot afford to wait.

Under Cabinet reorganization plans, the Executive Yuan will be downsized from 35 administrative entities to 23 plus four independent institutions.

The 32-year-old GIO, which has been criticized for acting both as the Cabinet's mouthpiece and the regulator for the country's media, would be abolished.

Its four major tasks would be transferred to other government agencies and the proposed National Communications Commission (NCC). The NCC would supervise the nation's telecommunications and media industry, while the publishing and film industries would be placed under the authority of the Council for Cultural Affairs.

International promotion would go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission, and domestic promotion and media liaison duties would be allocated to the Cabinet Spokesperson's Office.

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