Wed, May 21, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Animal care groups benefit as director donates NT$20m

Staff writer, with CNA

Executive producer Giddens Ko, left, and Raye, director of the documentary Twelve Nights, speak at a press conference in Taipei yesterday. They announced a donation of more than NT$20 million from the film’s box-office profits was to be given to animal charities.

Photo courtesy of Atom Cinema

Best-selling author and film director Giddens Ko (柯景騰), also known as Jiu Ba-dao (九把刀), has kept his promise to donate all of the box-office earnings from his documentary Twelve Nights to animal rescue and care groups.

The documentary, which Ko produced to raise awareness of how stray animals are treated in Taiwan, grossed more than NT$60 million (US$2 million) at the domestic box office from November last year through February.

Proceeds of more than NT$20.91 million — after deducting taxes and the share paid to cinemas — have been given to animal protection groups, including Taipei-based Stray Cats TNR (Trap Neuter Return) Association. The film’s production costs — about NT$6 million in total — were completely covered out-of-pocket by Ko, who took no part of the profits.

In a press conference to announce the donation on Monday, Ko said that his team started the project with the goal of making a film to encourage more people to care about strays.

Twelve Nights has created a focal point to bring together all the animal protection groups that already pay a lot of attention to this issue,” he said, adding that efforts to raise awareness of and to help stray animals “have to continue.”

The documentary records the lives of stray dogs at an animal shelter in Changhua County’s Yuanlin Township (員林). The title refers to the number of days the dogs have before they are put down if they are not adopted.

In a blog post in October last year, Ko said he had originally estimated a budget of less than NT$1 million for the project, but later decided to invest more because he wanted the film to be powerful enough to move audiences.

In the post, he thanked everyone who purchased tickets to see his directorial debut, the romantic comedy-drama You Are the Apple of My Eye, based on his novel of the same name.

He said the success of that film was what enabled him to fund Twelve Nights.

You Are the Apple of My Eye was the third-highest-grossing film in Taiwan in 2011.

It also set a record for being the highest-grossing Chinese-language film in Hong Kong to date.

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