Director and photographer Chi Po-lin’s (齊柏林) documentary Beyond Beauty: Taiwan from Above (看見台灣) is to be screened at the Osaka Asian Film Festival next month, marking the first time the film’s stunning aerial photography and call for environmental awareness will be seen by audiences abroad.
The highest-grossing documentary in local box office history, Beyond Beauty is to be screened at the festival, which runs from March 7 to 16, along with other Taiwanese films, including the historical drama-baseball film Kano.
“We hope to take Beyond Beauty outside Taiwan for the world to see,” Chi said.
Several international festivals have expressed interest in the documentary, he said, listing overseas showings as a “major goal” for his team this year.
Beyond Beauty has made more than NT$200 million (US$6.59 million) at the local box office as of Feb. 15, since it premiered on Nov. 1 last year.
The documentary highlights the country’s natural beauty and the damage done to its mountains, rivers and oceans by natural disasters and human beings.
It has been credited with spurring government action to tackle a high-profile polluter of industrial waste and to crack down on illegal guesthouses in a scenic area.
Taiwan Aerial Imaging Inc, which produced the film, said it is currently in talks with film festivals in China and Hong Kong, among others, to screen the film, but does not yet have plans for overseas theater releases.
Another major goal for the director is “charity screenings” throughout the nation so that more people can see the film.
Starting in the middle of next month, Taiwan Aerial Imaging plans a series of free screenings in Nantou, Miaoli, Changhua and Yilan counties, Greater Tainan and Hualien over a period of two weeks.
The company said the screenings would be a show of gratitude to the people in each location who helped with the filming.
Meanwhile, the company said it has donated NT$5 million from the box office proceeds to four foundations that assisted with the project — the Delta Electronics Foundation, the Wistron Foundation, the Fubon Cultural and Educational Foundation and the International Commercial Bank of China Cultural and Educational Foundation.