Tue, Nov 27, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Filmmakers pin hopes on theater

Staff writer, with CNA

Director Hou Hsiao-hsien and Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai, back row third and fourth from right, hold clapperboards as they pose with other filmmakers at the inauguration of the government-funded Spot Huashan cinema in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Sung Chih-hsiung, Taipei Times

Local filmmakers yesterday said they hoped Taiwan’s first government-funded art theater will serve to promote Taiwanese films and educate the country’s children on the art form.

“The most important task of theaters like this is to provide images so that people can be exposed to them from childhood,” prominent director Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢) said after the inauguration ceremony of the Spot Huashan cinema in Taipei.

Hou, who is also honorary chairman of the Taiwan Film and Culture Association, which runs the theater, said he hopes it will cooperate with schools to show films to schoolchildren.

In addition, Hou said, story-reading events could be organized at the theater in which celebrities could be invited to read to children.

The cinema, located at the Huashan 1914 Creative Park, a former brewery, houses two screening rooms with 175 and 133 seats respectively. It will show Taiwanese films, art films and film festival entries.

The Ministry of Culture has spent NT$90 million (US$3.09 million) building the theater, NT$64 million on repairing the building and NT$26 million on film equipment, Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) said at the ceremony.

Despite its small size, Lung said, the theater “bears the emotions and imaginations of the Taiwanese people.”

Movie producer Lee Lieh (李烈) said film festival organizers struggle each year to find theaters to host their festivals.

“We need more film theaters like this,” she said.

The cinema, which houses a coffee shop and a shop selling cultural and creative products, began operating on a trial basis on Nov. 1.

The Taiwan Film and Culture Association currently operates SPOT-Taipei Film House in the former residence of the US ambassador to the Republic of China.

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