Mon, Sep 29, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Taipei promotes local film industry

HOMEGROWN Although this year’s Taipei Film Festival attracted fewer participants this year, the government hopes to encourage moviemakers to film in the city

By Mo Yan-Chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Demoratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen, center, and two DPP legislators Chang Hwa-kuan, left, and Tien Chiu-chin, right, do the thumbs up sign after watching the film Cape No. 7 in Taipei on Monday.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

The Taipei City Government plans to promote the domestic film industry with preferential treatment for moviemakers and encouragement for filming in Taipei.

Taipei City’s Cultural Affairs Department (CAD), which established a film commission in January to encourage cooperation with the film industry, in July started offering discounted rates at 96 municipal hotels for local filmmakers who film in the city.

The city government has stepped up efforts to encourage the local film industry following the phenomenal success of Cape No. 7 (海角七號).

The locally made film, which was set in southern Taiwan, was a box office smash selling NT$200 million (US$6 million) in tickets after its Aug. 22 opening and attracted a wave of fans to Kenting (墾丁) and Hengchun (恆春), where the film was shot.

The movie opened the 2008 Taipei Film Festival in June, and won best picture.

CAD Commissioner Lee Yong-ping (李永萍) said the department would establish regulations on renting public space in order to make it easier for filmmakers to set action scenes in locations such as MRT stations. The city government will earmark NT$12 million in subsidies for filmmakers and TV producers who shoot in Taipei.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Wu Shih-cheng (吳世正), however, challenged the department over the poor box office results of this year’s Taipei Film Festival. He urged the department to improve the festival next year by finding a better location for screening films than Taipei Zhongshan Hall (中山堂), which is not a theater.

Lee acknowledged that ticket sales at this year’s festival were NT$1 million less than last year, and the number of participants dropped to about 50,000.

Lee said in the past the department had failed to persuade major theaters to provide space for 1,000 festival viewers, but promised to propose potential locations for next year’s festival in a month.

Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City Councilor Lee Wen-ying (李文英) said the city government should follow the Kaohsiung City Government’s example in regulating subsidies given to local filmmakers and offering discounted ticket for movies shot in the city.

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