The Ministry of Culture (MOC) yesterday launched a cinema “toolkit” providing online information on Taiwanese films that is aimed at promoting Taiwanese culture overseas.
The “toolkit” is a Web site that includes English and Mandarin information on 70 Taiwanese films, which are categorized under nine themes: youth, the city, cultural conflict, gender, literature, history, society, indigenous peoples and the environment.
It is part of the ministry’s plan to launch a series of “cultural toolkits” to help overseas groups, communities and schools organize events that feature Taiwanese literature, film, performing arts and fine arts.
The cinema “toolkit” is the first of the series to be launched.
Groups or schools interested in screening Taiwanese films can rent the 70 films in DVD format for free at Taiwan’s embassies and representative offices and at “Taiwan Academy” centers in New York, Los Angeles and Houston, according to the ministry.
Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) said her ministry got the idea of the “toolkit” from France, which provides online information on thousands of its films to promote its culture overseas.
“Culture is the best resource that Taiwan has to make friends with the world,” Lung said.
She said an important goal of the toolkits is to allow a foreign teachers who might not know much about Taiwan to easily organize festivals focusing on Taiwan’s films, culture or art.
Among the 70 films are several by prominent Taiwanese directors, such as Ang Lee (李安), Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢), Edward Yang (楊德昌) and Tsai Ming-liang (蔡明亮).
Award-winning features and documentaries, Taiwanese-language films and films dating back to the 1950s and 1960s are also included.
All of the films have been subtitled in English.
The toolkits will first be available in English and Mandarin, and then in other languages such as French, German and Spanish.
More films will be added to the list in the future, the ministry said.
The cinema “toolkits” are available at toolkit.tfi.org.tw