The Taipei Economic and Relations Office (TECO) in Australia said yesterday it had proposed to the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) that it resume its status as a “cultural partner” after sponsorship was annulled when a Taiwanese film was withdrawn by its Hong Kong production company last month.
TECO’s Information Division Director Jerry Chuang (莊正安) told the Taipei Times in a telephone interview that his office had made the pitch to the organizer and was waiting for an answer.
Chuang said the sponsorship became void when feature film Miao Miao was pulled, but when it was pointed out that Taiwan still had two short films — Joyce Agape and The Pursuit of What Was —in the event, TECO decided the conditions of the sponsorship hadn’t changed.
“We are eager to resume our sponsorship to show our full support for the festival,” Chuang said.
The proposal came amid a China-initiated boycott of the festival surrounding the presentation of a documentary on the life of World Uighur Congress president Rebiya Kadeer and an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report on Saturday that said: “All Chinese-language films were withdrawn from the festival in protest, and Hong Kong and Taipei’s trade offices both pulled their sponsorship.”
Contacted by the Taipei Times on Monday for comment before the resumption of sponsorship idea had been floated, festival spokeswoman Louise Heseltine said: “We never said the Taiwan Trade Office withdrew funding.”
“The festival receives funding from both the Hong Kong Trade Office and TECO based on the festival screening films from those regions,” Heseltine said.
However, “if there are no Hong Kong or Taiwanese films screening at the festival, then the sponsorship agreement becomes void,” said Heseltine, who once lived in Taiwan.
Last week the festival announced that Miao Miao, by Taiwanese director Cheng Hsiao-tse (程孝澤), was among the seven Chinese-language films pulling out of the festival. The movie was produced by Wong Kar-Wai (王家衛), Jacky Pang (彭綺華) and Stanley Kwan Kam-pang (關錦鵬). Its distributors in Taiwan and Hong Kong are Golden Scene and Warner Bros International respectively. The international distributor is the Netherlands-based Fortissimo Films, which has a branch office in Hong Kong.
In an e-mail to the Taipei Times yesterday, Courtney Noble, director of Festivals and Markets at Fortissimo Films in Amsterdam, wrote: “We received a formal request from the producer/owners of the film [Miao Miao] that it be pulled. As we have a contractual obligation with them and all of our producers to follow their instructions, we proceeded to do so.”
“The Melbourne Festival with whom our company has a longstanding relationship was extremely gracious and cooperative in immediately agreeing to this request,” Noble said.
‘FAILED TACTICS’: A lawmaker said Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong and Taiwan’s success at boosting its ties internationally have boosted identification as Taiwanese Self-identification as “Taiwanese and Chinese,” or solely as “Chinese,” has dropped to record lows, while 63.3 percent of the public regard themselves as Taiwanese, a survey released on Tuesday by National Chengchi University’s Election Study Center showed. Respondents identifying as Taiwanese and Chinese dropped to 31.4 percent, while those identifying solely as Chinese fell to 2.7 percent, the survey showed. The results reflect changes in attitudes since 1994 among Taiwanese toward independence and unification with China, as well as self-identification trends since 1992, commenters said. Support for independence was 25.8 percent, while about 5 percent of respondents said that they want the nation
ONLY EXCEPTIONS: The mayors of the two largest cities voiced concerns over hidden cases, while all other local governments are to follow eased CECC guidelines All local governments, with the exception of Taipei and New Taipei City, are to allow dine-in services at restaurants after the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday announced that it would on Tuesday lower a nationwide COVID-19 alert to level 2. The center on July 8 allowed the resumption of dining at restaurants nationwide — despite keeping the alert level at 3. At the time, this prompted all cities and counties, except Penghu Country, to keep local dine-in bans in place. Following Friday’s CECC announcement that COVID-19 prevention measures would be further relaxed, the Taipei and New Taipei City governments
‘NOT IMPOSSIBLE’: Acceptance to the UN would end the nation’s troubles, but it would be impossible to achieve without US backing, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun said The US might recognize Taiwan if war breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) said yesterday while discussing politics with former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Speaking on Chen’s program on Smile Radio, You reminisced about his agrarian childhood, studies, the founding of the Democratic Progressive Party in 1986 and his eight years as Yilan County commissioner. Chen’s appointment of You as premier in February 2002 marked several firsts, as he was Taiwan’s youngest premier, as well as the first from a farming background and first democratically elected county leader to hold the office. Asked to share his views on
‘STILL UNDER CONTROL’: The center also reported the first fatality involving the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, a woman in her 70s who died on Wednesday The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 30 domestic COVID-19 cases, three imported cases and four deaths. Of the local cases, 15 were men and 15 were women, with the onset of symptoms reported between Saturday and Wednesday, the center said. Taipei and New Taipei City recorded 11 cases each, Taoyuan had seven cases and Hsinchu City had one, it said. Twenty-four of the local cases had known sources of infection, five had unclear links with confirmed cases and one was under investigation, it said. Despite the relatively high number of cases yesterday, the COVID-19 situation “is still under control,” Minister of Health