Fri, Aug 14, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Jet Tone told to return NT$9 million to GIO

PAYING THE PRICE The company pulled its entry from a festival in Australia after Beijing threw a fit over a documentary on an exiled Uighur activist

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Government Information Office (GIO) said yesterday that Jet Tone Films (台灣澤東公司) must return the NT$4 million (US$121,600) grant it received for the film Miao Miao (渺渺), which was pulled recently from a film festival in Melbourne, Australia. The GIO said it would also take back a NT$5 million grant to Jet Tone for a separate film.

Miao Miao, co-produced by Hong Kong-based JA Movies and Jet Tone Films, a subsidiary of Hong Kong Jet Tone Films Ltd (香港澤東公司), was among the movies withdrawn from the Melbourne International Film Festival.

BEIJING POUTS

Beijing launched a boycott of the film festival after the organizers brushed off Chinese pressure not to air the documentary 10 Conditions of Love about Rebiya Kadeer, a prominent human rights activist whom Beijing claims is a terrorist.

Miao Miao’s withdrawal from the festival sparked anger as it implied that the film was Chinese rather than Taiwanese and gave the impression that Taiwan supported Beijing’s repression of Uighur rights and freedom of speech both at home and abroad.

TWO ADDRESSES

Under pressure to revoke the subsidy, the GIO looked into its contract with Jet Tone and found a discrepancy between the address Jet Tone Films gave on its registration form for the festival and the address it gave to apply for funds from the GIO.

The address on the festival registration form was in Hong Kong, the GIO said.

Jet Tone Films will also lose a NT$5 million grant it received this year to produce another film because regulations stipulate that an applicant cannot receive grants from the GIO for three years after being disqualified for funding.

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