Film buffs should return to movie theaters, Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te (李永得) said yesterday at an event in Taipei to promote upcoming Taiwanese films and the domestic film industry.
The industry has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, as people have avoided theaters and other public spaces.
Film director Chu Yu-ning (瞿友寧) and Vieshow Cinemas chairman Wu Ming-hsien (吳明憲) were among those at the event at the multiplex at the FEDS XinYi A13 department store in Xinyi District (信義), which officially opened in January.
Since the start of the pandemic, the film industry has been faced with an “unprecedented situation,” Lee said, but those in the industry have not given up.
During this “most difficult” time, they have continued to make movies, he said.
Twenty-two local films are scheduled for release before the end of the year, or an average of four films per month, he said.
People have begun to engage in “retaliatory tourism,” Lee said, a Chinese-language term used to describe a surge in domestic tourism amid the easing of disease prevention restrictions and concerns.
Lee said he looks forward to “retaliatory” moviegoing as well.
Lee also used yesterday’s event to promote the ministry’s voucher program aimed at encouraging spending in the culture sector and helping revitalize the arts.
Under the “Arts FUN Go!” (藝FUN券) program, which is separate from the Executive Yuan’s Triple Stimulus Voucher program, the ministry is to give away 2 million sets of electronic vouchers worth NT$600 each.
The NT$600 vouchers would allow each recipient to watch “two-and-a-half” films, Lee said.
The program is open to Taiwanese with national identification cards and their foreign spouses who have resident certificates.
Starting at 9am on Saturday and running to 9pm on Monday next week, eligible individuals can download the ministry’s “Arts FUN Go!” smartphone app to register for the vouchers, the ministry said.
The ministry is to announce the winners of the limited vouchers on the following day, it said.
The electronic vouchers can be redeemed at more than 10,000 venues nationwide, including movie theaters, museums and bookstores, or used to book tickets online to arts and cultural events, the ministry said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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