Taipei works with Cannes to cultivate next Ang Lee

STAR SEARCH::The Taipei City Government has launched a project with a Cannes Film Festival event to nurture young talent and promote the Taiwanese movie industry

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Feb 27, 2013 - Page 3

The Taipei City Government is working in cooperation with the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight event to promote the work of young filmmakers by inviting four foreign directors to work with Taiwanese directors to shoot short films in Taipei.

The “Taipei Factory” project, initiated by Taipei’s Film Commission and the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, pairs four directors from France, South Korea, Chile and Iran with Taiwanese filmmakers to shoot four 15-minute short films in Taipei.

The four short films, which must be finished by March 15, will be premiered at the opening ceremony of the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in May. The Directors’ Fortnight is an independent section that is held in parallel to the Cannes Film Festival and showcases international documentaries and shorts.

Speaking at the project’s launch, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said the initiative reflected the Taipei City Government’s efforts to promote the development of the local film industry, adding that the project would introduce young Taiwanese filmmakers to the international community.

“Ang Lee (李安) has made the nation proud by winning the Oscar for best director and it is the city government’s job to encourage and support young talent to follow in his steps so that more Taiwanese films can shine on the international stage,” he said.

Edouard Waintrop, the artistic director of the Directors’ Fortnight, said the festival would allow filmmakers to exchange ideas and inspire each other, adding that the event’s organizational committee aimed to make the festival into a global communication platform for ailmmakers around the world.

“Many people think that the film industry is dominated by Hollywood and major festivals like the Cannes Film Festival. However, these people should be made aware that the map of the world film industry is changing and we hope that the project will inspire filmmakers across the world,” he said.

One of the four pairs of directors participating in the project are Taiwanese filmmaker Chang Rong-ji (張榮吉) and Iranian director Alireza Khatami. The duo said they plan to make a film about national and individual identities told through the story of a person’s search for their lost home.

Chang, 32, was given the Best New Director Award at this year’s Golden Horse Awards for his film Touch of the Light (逆光飛翔). He said that the upcoming short film would feature several venues in Taipe, such as Zhongxiao Bridge.

Khatami said he was interested in Taiwanese culture and history, and would take the opportunity to tour the city in search of good locations for the film.