Tue, Nov 06, 2012 - Page 3 News List

New baseball film aims to evoke more innocent era

GLORY DAYS:The upcoming film was written by the director of ‘Seediq Bale’ and tells the story of Taiwan’s first baseball team, a multiethnic team in the colonial era

Staff writer, with CNA

Movie director Wei Te-sheng, third from left, poses with actors and other people working on Kano, an upcoming film about Taiwan’s first baseball team, at a press conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Sung Chih-hsiung, Taipei Times

An upcoming film about the nation’s first baseball team aims to bring back the spirit of a more innocent era and inspire audiences to view the world in a less complicated way, one of the film’s producers said yesterday.

“When we view baseball from a modern perspective, we cannot escape falling into the traps of fame and wealth, but if we look at baseball in the past, there is a real sense of innocence,” film director Wei Te-sheng (魏德聖) told reporters after a press conference to announce that the film, Kano, would begin shooting tomorrow.

Wei, who wrote the script after reading about the team in a bookstore seven years ago, said he hoped the film would inspire audiences to think about the future not only from the perspective of the present, but also of the past.

The 43-year-old director is known for last year’s NT$700 million (US$23.9 million) epic film Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale, which dramatized a violent anti-Japanese uprising in Taiwan in 1930.

Set in 1931, when Taiwan was a colony of Japan, Kano tells the true story of a high-school baseball team from Chiayi that traveled to Japan that summer to play in the Koshien Tournament, a renowned high-school baseball tournament.

Taking its title from the team’s name, the film portrays the rigorous training practices of the team, which was composed of Japanese and Taiwanese athletes of both Han Chinese and Aboriginal descent, and how it advanced to the finals of the tournament.

Umin Boya (馬志翔), the director of the film, was on a baseball team when he was a junior-high school student and said just reading the script gave him goose bumps.

“I was also an athlete and I see myself in the story,” the director said, adding that he went through the same experiences as the players in the film.

“Taiwan has been lacking something like this, an inspiring sports film that has a firm connection to the country and resonates with the Taiwanese audience,” he said in a statement.

The film has a budget of about NT$250 million and will be shot over a 14-week period in Chiayi, Greater Tainan, Greater Kaohsiung and Greater Taichung.

It is expected to hit theaters in the spring of 2014.

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