Sun, Nov 12, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Producer talks up movie project

IMMERSED William Tiao's parents were active in the democracy and independence movement and because of their influence, he developed an early interest in politics

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwanese American filmmaker and actor William Tiao (刁毓能) is in Taiwan to raise funds for his new independent film, Formosa Betrayed (被出賣的台灣), and said yesterday he planned to start shooting next year for release in 2008.

Tiao, who is executive producer of the movie project, said he expects the film to shine a spotlight on Taiwan like never before. He said, however, it is up to the Taiwanese people to do something with that spotlight.

The film's storyline concerns the murder of a Taiwanese professor in 1982, and the subsequent investigation by a US detective. As the detective pursues the case, he finds that the killing was part of conspiracy that goes all the way to the top of the US and Taiwanese governments.

Tiao said he would like to use the story to elaborate on two themes: identity and justice.

"In movie terms, that actually means, lack of identity and injustice," he said at the press conference hosted by the Taiwan Society yesterday. "Not only are these two themes that Taiwanese know a lot about. These are the two themes that people around the world can relate to."

Born in Manhattan, Kansas, Tiao said he often heard stories about Taiwan's White Terror period when he was a child.

His parents were active in the Taiwan democracy and independence movement and because of their influence, Tiao said he developed an early and strong interest in politics.

Tiao's first job was at the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) in Washington. He also holds a masters degree in international relations.

After 10 years in Washington, Tiao said he became very frustrated with Taiwan's lack of international recognition and identity.

He decided four years ago to leave his job in the political world and pursue a career in the entertainment industry.

His parents' had a very normal Taiwanese reaction, which was to ask: are you out of your mind?

"I asked my parents what is the one thing that everybody in America does together. The only one thing is watch movies," he said. "I told my parents if there is a way through Hollywood, through movies that we can get a message out about Taiwan, then I think we can touch a lot more people than anything else."

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