Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) yesterday accused the Government Information Office (GIO) of lowering the status of a proposed national film culture center in Kaohsiung for political reasons.
Kuan, who previously served as director of the city’s Bureau of Cultural Affairs and then its information office, issued a press release accusing the GIO of diminishing the status of the center by placing it under a similar facility to be built in Sinjhuang, Taipei County, despite the former DPP administration’s decision to give the two centers equal status with the aim of developing Taipei and Kaohsiung’s film industries.
Kaohsiung’s information office was merged with the city’s Tourism Bureau last month.
The GIO proposed the plan to build the two centers to the Council of Economic Planning and Development for review on Wednesday.
Under the plan, a main center would be built in Sinjhuang next year, while a branch would be built in Neiweipi (內惟埤) in Kaohsiung in 2014. Construction is scheduled for completion by 2018.
The construction work is expected to cost NT$5.6 billion (US$174.2 million).
Kuan said the GIO’s proposal showed that total floor space of the branch in Kaohsiung would only be equal to one quarter the floor area of the center in Sinjhaung.
The center in Kaohsiung would not have any rooms for book collections, auditoriums, film studios or sets available to crews filming in the city, Kuan said.
In terms of budget, the construction of the center in Kaohsiung would only account for NT$1.1 billion of the NT$5.6 billion total budget, Kuan said, adding that this showed the Cabinet was completely ignoring the city’s efforts to develop a local film industry.
Kuan described the GIO’s proposal as “a typical example of favoring northern Taiwan over southern Taiwan” and “a national policy based on political differences.”
Although the city’s Bureau of Cultural Affairs director Shih Jhe (史哲) gave the GIO credit for proposing to build one of the centers in Kaohsiung, he said the Kaohsiung center would be “too small.”
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