Organizers of the production of an animated 3D film about the founding father of the Republic of China (ROC) yesterday said they welcomed sponsorship from all over the world, including China.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Justin Chou (周守訓), the chief supervisor of the film, said about 30 percent of the NT$100 million (US$3.4 million) budget had been raised so far and that funding from all over the world was welcome.
“As long as they are interested in the film or acknowledge its significance, we welcome their participation,” he said. “However, please don’t forget we have final say on how the story will be told and how history should be interpreted.”
Chou made the remarks in response to questions by the Taipei Times during a press conference in Taipei to promote the film, titled The Sun Rises (中山魂).
The title refers to Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) and the film is scheduled to be released in Taiwan and China by the end of the year.
Asked whether they had received any funding from China, Chou said so far they had not. Aside from government agencies, Chou said the main source of funding would come from the private sector. An insider said the Council for Cultural Affairs had agreed to provide about NT$5 million.
Chou said that when producer Kevin Geiger, former New Party legislator Elmer Feng (馮滬祥) and film director Chiu Li-wei (邱立偉) came to see him in his office last summer, he thought the project was just a pie in the sky, but he was glad the dream had finally come true.
Beijing-based Geiger said in Taipei yesterday that his production team had a responsibility to history and the youth of today, the future.
“We try to take this historic epic and a rich history that we all know and bring it to life for the youth of today,” he said.
Geiger said years of working at Walt Disney Co had taught him the importance of establishing an epic scope for the film and finding a personal angle that the audience can relate to.
The focus with the development of the characters in the story was to find a personal angle to view history through the audience’s personal relationship to the characters.
Some of the characters are well known and some are less well known, but they do their job correctly, he said.
“What this movie will do is to honor the truth of history, so when the elders watch this film, they will say yes, that is correct, but also when the youth watch this movie, they will say, ‘My God, this is so exciting. Those people are just like me, why aren’t I doing more?’” Geiger said.
He said people interested in the movie could join the characters’ Facebook pages.
The purpose is to enable the public to feel history, participate in history and continue that history, he said.
Although Geiger said he did not want to sound “too commercial,” they saw Sun as a franchise.
The story could be expressed in different media forms, such as the big screen, TV, music, game applications and products that are all tied together by the Internet to commemorate the spirit of Sun, he said.
Feng said the film would be the first Taiwanese movie played in Chinese cinemas since the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in June last year. Both sides agree that Sun is an important figure who deserves their utmost respect, but the film will not only focus on the past, but also look at the impact of Sun’s revolution on the whole world.
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