The Ministry of Culture yesterday established the Taiwan Film Institute, which it hopes will help develop and promoting the domestic film industry.
The new national film center supercedes the Chinese Taipei Film Archive and is tasked with the preservation and restoration of the nation’s cinema industry, as well as carrying out promotion, market expansion and industry research on Taiwanese film, the ministry said.
Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) said that these tasks were previously divided among multiple organizations and offices. She said that integrating them under the Taiwan Film Institute’s purview would help facilitate events such as the biennial Taiwan International Documentary Festival, which did not have a regular organizer before.
“This is a new milestone,” she said of the institute’s establishment, adding that making it responsible for the festival enables the accumulation and passing on of experience and know-how.
The institute is also to be better funded than its predecessor. The annual budget of the Chinese Taipei Film Archive was between NT$30 million (US$1 million) and NT$40 million, but the institute has been allocated a budget of NT$170 million for this year alone, allowing the ministry to be more effective in its mission to support the Taiwanese film industry, Lung said.
Encouraging film studies is another important focus of the institute and Lung said that her ministry and the Ministry of Education are mulling the possibility of offering film appreciation courses in elementary and junior-high schools.
The institute is also to house a digital restoration center tasked with restoring five to 10 classic Taiwanese films each year, the culture ministry said. Since last year, it has allocated NT$23 million per year to restoring films, it added.
The Taiwan Film Institute will also display rare movie stills, posters and manuscripts, according to the culture ministry.
From 2008 to 2012, the Taiwanese film industry posted an annual increase of NT$2 billion, or a compound growth rate of about 12 percent, the culture ministry said.
In 2012, there were 446 film production companies nationwide, up from 235 in 2009, it said.