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(MIFF) that it resume its status as a “cultural partner” after sponsorship was annulled when a Taiwanese film was withdrawn by its Hong Kong production company last month.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Rebiya Kadeer and an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report on Saturday that said: “All Chinese-language films were withdrawn from the festival in protest, and Hong Kong and Taipei’s trade offices both pulled their sponsorship.”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.
The boyfriend of Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Kao Chia-yu (高嘉瑜) was yesterday questioned by prosecutors after Kao on Tuesday reported that he had abused her. Raphael Lin (林秉樞) was taken in for questioning at the Grand Forward Hotel in New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋) yesterday morning, and police confiscated his mobile phone, iPad and a data storage device, prosecutors said, adding that they have applied to place Lin in judicial detention. Lin, who does not reside at his registered address, might attempt to flee or tamper with evidence, they said, adding that he has allegedly threatened victims in earlier abuse cases
PAST CATCHING UP: Raphael Lin was last year convicted of intimidating his girlfriend at the time, and in 2015 allegedly confined his parents and assaulted his mother Doctoral student and media commentator Raphael Lin (林秉樞) is in detention and has had his communication rights limited after he was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly subjecting Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Kao Chia-yu (高嘉瑜) to two days of violence in a hotel room, the New Taipei District Court said yesterday. The New Taipei City Prosecutors’ Office had filed a request to detain Lin — who was Kao’s boyfriend at the time of the incident — with the court approving the request early yesterday. The prosecutors’ office said that it is likely to charge Lin with seven offenses: assault causing bodily harm, violating
A COVID-19 vaccine trial carried out in Taiwan has found that a combination of the AstraZeneca and the locally developed Medigen vaccines is more effective than two doses of AstraZeneca, the research team said on Saturday. The trial, which was initiated by Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, examined 100 people aged 22 to 62 divided into two groups: One group was vaccinated with two AstraZeneca doses, while the other received a first dose of AstraZeneca and a second dose of Medigen, team leader Chen Chih-jung (陳志榮) said. The geometric mean titers (GMTs) of neutralizing antibodies in the mix-and-match group after 10 days were
DEMOCRATIC VALUES: The premier of Malaita said formal recognition is likely if the prime minister is ousted after last month’s China-related violence The head of the most populous province in the Solomon Islands said the country would likely switch diplomatic ties back to Taiwan if the prime minister is ousted from his post following next week’s no-confidence vote, after looting and violent protests shook the capital city last month. Malaita Premier Daniel Suidani yesterday said he thinks that the Solomon Islands should partner with Taiwan because they share democratic values. Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare angered many in 2019, particularly leaders of Malaita, when he cut the country’s diplomatic ties with Taiwan to recognize China instead. Suidani said the switch was done without