Hau promises more funding to promote Taipei as film site

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Nov 01, 2013 - Page 3

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday reiterated the city’s commitment to promoting filming in Taipei, promising to offer more subsidies and administrative assistance to producers who choose the city for location shooting.

Hau made the comments at an event to mark the fifth anniversary of the Taipei Film Commission, which was established after the city’s failed attempt to draw the producers of Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol to film in Taipei. The commission was tasked with taking a more pro-active approach to attract both local and foreign film crews.

Hau said the commission had assisted in the production of 1,668 films over the past five years, including 207 foreign films. Last year, local movies that received subsidies or administrative assistance from the commission earned NT$136 million (US$4.6 million) at the box office in Taipei, which accounted for 46.5 percent of total box-office receipts in the nation.

“French director Luc Besson’s decision to film his latest movie in Taipei is a great affirmation of the city’s filming environment. We will work harder to get more foreign film crews to shoot in Taipei and promote the city’s international image,” Hau said.

The commission gave an undisclosed amount of funds to Besson to shoot his new film, Lucy, in Taipei. While Besson reportedly got angry over extensive media coverage of the filming process, he promised to attend a press conference yesterday afternoon at the Taipei 101 with Hau to promote his film and thank the city for its assistance.

Hau said he met in private with the director on Tuesday.

“The previous incident has been resolved, and Luc Besson told me that Taipei remains his top choice for shooting the film. The filming process is going smoothly, and he said he has a good impression of Taipei and Taiwan,” Hau said.

The commission has assisted in the production of many local films, including Hear Me (聽說), Au Revoir Taipei (一頁台北), Monga (艋舺) and Love (愛), which have generated good box office returns, commission director Jennifer Jao (饒紫娟) said.

The commission helped deal with many production issues, including scouting for suitable filming locations and coordinating with different government agencies, such as police and traffic departments, to make it easier for filmmakers to obtain the necessary permits, she said.

It also assisted foreign filmmakers in finding suitable locations outside Taipei, she said.