Documentary makers urged to submit films

By Lai Hsiao-tung and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Sat, Nov 17, 2018 - Page 4

The New Taipei City Government is accepting submissions for next year’s documentary film awards, with the winners receiving grants totaling NT$4.2 million (US$135,975) — the highest grants of any documentary competition in the nation.

Each entry that is selected receives a NT$330,000 grant, while the top three entries receive an additional NT$100,000, NT$80,000 and NT$50,000 respectively, the New Taipei City Department of Information said.

The New Taipei City Documentary Film Awards, which provides filmmakers with financial and professional support, helps documentary filmmakers pass on their experience to the next generation, director Huang Chien-liang (黃建亮) said.

For students who are just entering the field of documentary filmmaking, NT$330,000 is not a small sum, said Starlight in the Ruin (廢墟裡的星光) assistant director Chi Chien-ting (紀建廷), who is pursuing a master’s degree at National Taiwan University of Arts’ Department of Radio and Television.

In addition to the financial support, the program gives applicants an opportunity to analyze the structure of their work through a question-and-answer session that is part of the selection process, he said.

The competition, which is in its eighth year, has attracted both experienced filmmakers and students, department Director Chang Chi-chiang (張其強) said.

The winners of the top prize in the past two years were all up-and-coming directors who were still at college or university, he said.

Half of this year’s winning entries were submitted by directors in their 20s or 30s, he added.

This year’s call for submissions is a month earlier than in previous years to encourage more directors to apply and to give them more time to prepare, he said.

The department is accepting submissions until Feb. 25, he added.