Film director Wei Te-sheng (魏德聖) on Friday signed an agreement with the Tainan City Government to build a history-themed amusement park, but said he is concerned about the park’s construction.
The Taiwan Trilogy History Culture Park (臺灣三部曲歷史文化園區) would serve a as a film set for a planned trilogy set in Dutch colonial-era Taiwan, Wei said.
He hopes to begin filming within two years, he added.
Photo courtesy of Wei Te-sheng
The park, which Wei has also referred to as “Formosa Wonderland” (豐盛之城), would be built in Houbi District (後壁) on part of Taiwan Sugar Corp’s (台糖) Wushulin farm (烏樹林) as a build-operate-transfer project.
Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) praised the park, calling it one of the nation’s most important cultural projects.
“I might not have had the courage to sign the contract a year ago. Today, I have signed it, but the pressure of more than NT$1 billion [US$32.81 million] is weighing down on me,” Wei said.
Taiwan has been home to countless cultures through its history, but many of them disappeared without any memorial, he said, adding that putting aside a “100-odd hectare plot to remember them is not a waste at all.”
Hopefully, the park will help Taiwanese understand their roots, and allow local and foreign visitors to better understand the history of Taiwan prior to the arrival of the Japanese and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Wei said.
The park could also be a boon for the tourism industry in Tainan, he said.
“We can develop Tainan’s tourism industry in a way that retains the city’s unique local ecology,” he added.
Wei said he and his team had also considered working with nearby farms to sell local produce at the park.
Wei thanked his investors and said that filming would begin following an environmental impact assessment and construction of the park.
He aims to have the trilogy completed by 2025, Wei said.
“I still remember when I borrowed NT$2.5 million to film Cape No. 7 (海角七號). My hands were shaking,” he said, adding that he had never imagined he would now be borrowing more than NT$1 billion.
The project makes him feel conflicted, as he hopes to “do something great,” but is not sure whether people would care about the project, Wei said, adding that he was thankful for all the assistance he has received with planning, which has given him confidence.
Wei said he has secured a NT$35 million deposit for the project and would consider holding fundraisers next year.
However, he would only consider the option if he has a comprehensive plan, he added.
Tainan Cultural Affairs Bureau Director-General Yeh Tse-shan (葉澤山) said the city considers itself a partner in the project and would not only supervise the project, but would help Wei as well.
“Mayor Huang has a vested interest as well, as it is the biggest project undertaken in the city during his time in office,” Yeh said, adding that there is a possibility of helping to fund the park through the central government’s Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program.
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