Sat, Feb 12, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taichung mayor hopes to use film to boost tourism

Staff Writer, with CNA

Taichung will try to preserve spots in the city where Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (李安) is shooting his new film to help promote tourism in the area, Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) said yesterday.

Lee is shooting scenes for Life of Pi, his first 3D film, in a section of the proposed economic, trade and ecological park in Shui Nan (水湳), located on the site of the former Taichung airport.

Pi tells the story of a boy lost at sea in a lifeboat in shark-infested waters for 227 days with four unusual and increasingly hungry companions — a Bengal tiger, a hyena, a zebra and an orangutan.

Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony for the first stage of work on the Shui Nan park project, Hu said Lee’s filmmaking activities in Taichung would inject US$100 million into the local economy, which he believed would greatly benefit the city.

The mayor pledged to solicit the support of the city council to preserve some of the locations.

Hu said the park, one of his major campaign pledges when he ran for mayor of the special municipality last year, would cost an estimated NT$100 billion (US$3.4 billion), and he hoped local businesses would pool together to invest in the park and turn “it into a highlight of Taiwan.”

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