Award-winning Taiwanese director Ang Lee (李安) yesterday said that the nation’s film industry needs government support as the domestic market is limited in size.
It is “not enough” for the film industry to depend on the domestic market and the efforts of its filmmakers, the director of the new Hollywood film Life of Pi (少年PI的奇幻漂流) said in a meeting with Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) in Taipei.
“Our market and film industry are relatively weak,” Lee said, adding that without the government’s support, it will be hard to sustain the nation’s film industry.
Knowledge and experience in Taiwan’s filmmaking industry are often not built up and passed down, Lee said, urging the ministry to give more support to the industry.
Lee said he was sad when many of his Taiwanese film crew told him they were surprised and envious of Hollywood filmmakers because they “have a life.”
Taiwanese filmmakers should not have to survive only on their enthusiasm for their work, he said.
In response, Lung agreed that there is much room for improvement in the domestic film industry.
More than 70 percent of Lee’s latest film, a 3D epic fantasy, was shot in Taichung, Greater Kaohsiung and Pingtung County in the south.
Many of the film’s 3,000 crew members were Taiwanese.
In addition to allowing young filmmakers see how a big project is produced, Lee said he also hopes the movie will make people in the world aware of the existence of Taiwan and that it is the best place to make movies set in the ocean.
Asked what advice he would give to prominent Chinese directors who have yet to win an award for best director, Lee said he thinks “China should create its own Oscars.”
China’s film industry is probably one of the few that can compete with Hollywood, he added.