Au Revoir, Taipei, (一頁台北), a romantic comedy set in Taipei City, won the Best Asian Film Award from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) at the Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday, beating 11 other Asian entries.
The love story, which takes place over the course of one evening in Taipei City, was produced by German director Wim Wenders and directed by Arvin Chen (陳駿霖).
Chen is no stranger to the Berlin film festival. He won a Silver Berlin Bear-Jury Grand Prix for Short Films for a short he made titled May in 2007.
Starring singer Amber Kuo (郭采潔), Jack Yao (姚淳耀) and Joseph Chang (張孝全), Au Revoir, Taipei screened to packed audiences and won loud applause in Berlin.
Frank Chen (陳志寬), director of the Government Information Office’s (GIO) Motion Picture Affairs Department, conveyed the government’s congratulations to Chen on Saturday over the honor.
By winning the top award at NETPAC, which is an alliance of the Berlin film festival organizers, Au Revoir, Taipei now has the opportunity of winning a prize of NT$1.5 million (US$47,000) awarded by the GIO.
Another Taiwanese movie, Monga (艋舺), which has enjoyed huge box office success in Taiwan, was also screened at the festival, but did not win a prize.
Upon learning of the victory in Berlin, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said the performance of the two movies filmed in Taipei was a successful marketing campaign for the city.
Various aspects of Taipei, including the MRT system, night markets and the round-the-clock Eslite bookstore, all feature in the film.
“From Monga to Au Revoir Taipei, the Taipei Film Commission has worked closely with film production teams during the filming process and turned the movies into successful campaign for the city,” Hau told reporters while inspecting a construction site in the city yesterday. “Our cooperation with film crews not only increases publicity and visibility of Taipei worldwide, but also made many movie scenes new destinations for visitors to the city.”
In the making of the movie Monga, the city government closed streets to facilitate the filming, while for Au Revoir Taipei, the city government closed off an MRT station, allowing the crew to use an MRT train for filming and even dispatched real police officers to play police in the movie.
The city government cooperated with 15 countries in the production of 25 motion pictures last year, Hau said.
Outgoing GIO Minister Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) sent a message to the Au Revoir, Taipei team in Berlin to congratulate them for winning the award.
Au Revoir, Taipei and Monga will both receive GIO money.
“As it won an award at an international film festival, the production team of Au Revoir, Taipei will be awarded NT$1.5 million for their achievement,” GIO Motion Picture Affairs Department Director Joanne Tien (田又安) told the Taipei Times by telephone.
“Monga will receive a NT$200,000 prize for being nominated,” she said.
The Berlin International Film Festival concluded yesterday.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY LOA IOK-SIN
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