Entertainment productions that do not implement safety procedures could lose their public funding, the Ministry of Culture said on Monday, citing rules it plans to propose by September.
The announcement came two months after two film crew members fell to their deaths in a ravine in Miaoli County’s Nanjhuang Township (南庄) while working on the TV drama series First Embrace (初擁). A 38-year-old camera operator surnamed Huang (黃) and a 34-year-old audio equipment operator surnamed Wang (王) died in the incident.
The ministry is to draft new rules requiring producers to spend a portion of their budget on safety before they can qualify for public subsidies, Deputy Minister of Culture Hsiao Tsung-huang (蕭宗煌) said during a meeting of the legislature.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
The failure of a production to comply with labor standards or to prepare risk evaluations, safety plans and occupational safety training would be grounds for the government to withhold financial support, he said.
Under the proposed regulations, film producers must present a risk assessment report and self-check safety plan to receive filming support from the Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry, he said.
Productions that involve high-risk activities — including filming from heights, stunts, underwater work or pyrotechnics — would be required to submit an additional safety checklist to obtain the bureau’s assistance, he said.
The National Performing Arts Center would be tasked with enforcing rules for performances at its venues, promoting safety standards and providing consultation to producers, he said.
The center must also find experts to conduct safety inspections at local venues, he said.
The ministry would offer safety seminars in collaboration with the Taiwan Association of Theater Technology, the Taipei Art Creator Union and other performing arts groups, he said.
The ministry is also to create a standard template for contracts in the performing arts and film industries to improve occupational safety by the end of September, he said, adding that this would be carried out in conjunction with the Ministry of Labor and unions.
Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te (李永得) and National Performing Arts Center chairman Kao Chih-shang (高志尚) were unable to attend the legislative meeting, as they were in self-isolation for COVID-19.
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