Thu, Sep 24, 2009 - Page 4 News List

New film highlights benefits of Taiwan-EU cooperation

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Face (臉), the latest work by director Tsai Ming-liang (蔡明亮), which premiered on Tuesday night, is the first Taiwanese movie funded by the EU and a prime example of cultural cooperation between the EU and Taiwan, Europe’s top envoy to Taiwan said recently.

The film is not only the first Chinese-language movie to receive funding from the European Commission’s MEDIA program, but is also the biggest EU-Taiwan cooperative film venture ever, Guy Ledoux said in an interview.

“The fact that cultural cooperation between Taiwan and the EU at such a level is possible is because Taiwan has a very dynamic and advanced cultural industry,” Ledoux said.

“Taiwan has a comparative advantage in the field of culture and the freedom of expression that exists in Taiwan has enabled Taiwan’s cultural industry to flourish and become very attractive,” he said.

Describing Face as “a very beautiful project” because it intertwines scenes in Europe and Taiwan and features iconic actors from both places, Ledoux said he hoped there will be more culturally oriented cooperation projects between the EU and Taiwan.

Face is a narrative feature film commissioned by the ­Louvre in Paris and directed by ­Malaysian-born, Taiwan-based Tsai. The production, which features noted French stars Laetitia Casta, Fanny Ardant and Jean-Pierre Leaud, as well as Taiwanese actors Lee Kang-sheng (李康生) and Lu Yi-ching (陸奕靜), will be the first movie that the Louvre will add to its collection of some of the world’s finest art.

Known as Visage in French, it is described as a film within a film, telling the story of a Chinese filmmaker who heads to the Louvre to shoot a film revolving around the myth of Salome and her request to her father Herod that St John the Baptist be beheaded.

The film cost NT$178.6 million (US$5.5 million) to make and in addition to funds from Taiwan, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, the EU’s MEDIA program contributed 50,000 euros (US$73,000) to help with production.

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