Fri, Aug 07, 2009 - Page 3 News List

GIO criticizes withdrawal of the movie ‘Miao Miao’

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) said yesterday that he disapproved of the withdrawal of the movie Miao Miao (渺渺) from the Melbourne International Film Festival.

Su said the withdrawal of the film had been interpreted as support for “some country or some area's” oppression of human rights.

Su was referring to China, which pulled movies made in China and Hong Kong from the festival late last month in protest at the inclusion of Australian director Jeff Daniels' film 10 Conditions of Love, a documentary on the life of World Uyghur Congress president Rebiya Kadeer.

Miao Miao, co-produced by Hong Kong-based JA Movies and Taiwan Jet Tone (台灣澤東公司), a subsidiary of Hong Kong Jet Tone Film Ltd (香港澤東公司), was among the movies taken out of the festival.

In 2005, Taiwan Jet Tone received a subsidy of NT$4 million (US$123,000) to produce the film from a GIO fund designed to promote the local movie industry.

The movie is directed by Taiwanese director Cheng Hsiao-tse (程孝澤) and stars mostly Taiwanese actors.

Yesterday was not the first time Su had chosen not to name China directly when criticizing it.

In June, when asked to comment on the human rights situation in China ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, Su said the government had called on “countries or areas identified as having poor human rights records to endeavor to make improvements in this regard.”

Su did not mention China.

The GIO has demanded that Taiwan Jet Tone present the documents it submitted to the festival to register Miao Miao to determine whether the company violated a standard contract it signed with the GIO.

Under the contract, if the company submits the film to a festival, it must do so under the name “Taiwan.”

Taiwan Jet Tone has yet to respond.

There are no rules in the contract on withdrawing a film from a festival.

Su said his office would revise clarify the rights and obligations to prevent similar incidents involving government-funded films.

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