At the invitation of the French Office in Taipei, the chief operating officer of Film France, Franck Priot, arrived in Taipei yesterday to promote Taiwanese-French cooperation to a group of local filmmakers and producers.
Headquartered in Paris, Film France is a government-funded national institute that is comprised of 40 local film commissions across the nation, offering free assistance and services that range from help obtaining shooting permits or applying for funds to finding crews and settings.
“Our job is to receive e-mails from producers and filmmakers from around the world and make sure that they have a smooth experience making movies in France,” Priot said at press conference.
Speaking on the advantages of making movies in France, Priot said anyone with a legitimate visa can shoot a film of any type of story and budget in France, which offers diverse landscapes and well-trained professionals. Big-budget productions are also eligible for government subsidies.
Past subsidy recipients include The Grandmasters (一代宗師) by Wong Kar-wai (王家衛) and Jackie Chan’s (成龍) Chinese Zodiac (十二生肖).
About 30 Taiwanese producers and filmmakers attended the meeting, including director Lin Cheng-sheng (林正盛) and producers Chang Chu-ti (張筑悌) and Angelika Wang (王耿瑜).
Priot said there were very few Asian productions made in France a decade ago except for some Japanese commercials and movies.
However, in the past five years, they have seen a sudden increase in the number of Asian crews shooting movies, television productions and commercials in France, many of which come from Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.
“Starting next week, we will have a Chinese-speaking staff member on board,” the Frenchman said.
Cooperation between the film industries in Taiwan and France officially started in 2010, when the Taipei Film Commission and Ile de France Film Commission, one of the 40 local film commissions of Film France, signed an agreement to encourage film collaboration and an exchange of talent.
Six Taiwanese-French co-productions have been made since then, including Tom Lin Shu-yu’s (林書宇) Starry Starry Night (星空).
Priot is to present En Route to France Awards to director Lin Shu-yu and actress Guey Lun-mei (桂綸鎂), who played a part in Starry Starry Night, today during the opening ceremony of the Taipei Film Festival. Created last year by Film France, the awards are meant to be tokens of gratitude for filmmakers who make works in France.