Mon, Dec 24, 2018 - Page 3 News List

INTERVIEW: Producers discuss first local political drama

HOUSE OF BRIDGE:The filmmakers said they would not disclose who is working on the series due to its sensitivity, after refusing funding that possibly came from China

By Lan Tsu-wei, Ho Tsung-han, Jonathan Chin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writers

“When I pressed them for the source of funding, they admitted in a roundabout way that the source was China’s Taiwan Affairs Office,” he said.

“The offer shows that China is keeping close tabs on Taiwanese cultural industries and they were eager to buy us out when they heard that we were only to receive NT$30 million in funding from the Ministry of Culture,” Feng said.

“If China succeeds, Taiwan would lose its freedom and autonomy to tell stories about itself,” she said. “Such is the invasive ubiquity of China’s cultural strategy.”

The Chinese Political Warfare Department is said to be willing to spend NT$10 billion per year on attempts to infiltrate Taiwan and has used every method it could think of, Feng said.

“Does Taiwan have countermeasures? How is Taiwan going to combat such attempts?” she asked.

It is not clear that the government is aware that should it fail to fight back in the cultural war being waged through film and movies, Taiwan might be forced onto the defensive, Feng said.

Fundraising is the greatest obstacle that the show has yet to overcome, Wang said.

The ministry has offered NT$30 million in subsidies, but he has conflicting emotions seeing how government agencies and media companies that have stated their support for original Taiwanese digital content are refusing to fund the venture, he said.

“Many claim to ‘love Taiwan’ for their own benefit, but come the time to financially support such endeavors, they shift responsibility,” Wang said.

However, Feng said she is optimistic about the series’ future.

These issues — which have long been considered political taboos, forbidden by unwritten rules or suppressed by Chinese influence — should be intellectual property that Taiwan should prioritize, she said.

The ministry should redefine its subsidy criteria, withholding subsidies from projects that apply for subsidies yet focus on the Chinese market, creating products that decontextualize Taiwan and negate the nation’s sovereignty, she added.

Wang said he hopes to raise NT$20 million for the show based his experience and the expected profit once it is aired.

Hong Kong film director Wong Kar-wai (王家衛) has said that in 1990s Taiwan you could truly see how freedom developed after the lifting of martial law, Feng said, adding that the mood among the Taiwanese public throughout the 1990s was one of optimistic change and people felt that any change were possible.

It led to some chaos, at times to the extent that it felt like the nation was disintegrating, but the period was nonetheless inspiring, she said, adding the process that was started then was difficult, but led to where Taiwan is now.

“Taiwan is a great place and we hope to retell its story to create a common memory shared by everyone,” Feng said.

Hopefully, such a collective memory could give people a renewed sense of purpose and instill new confidence in the nation’s leaders, she added.

This story has been viewed 2769 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top