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Film commissioners gather in Taipei to forge co-production deals

Film commissioners from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Korea gathered in Taipei Thursday to forge co-production opportunities and shared their views on how to make their home-grown film industries make their mark on the international stage.
"Taipei City gives its utmost efforts to make the city movie-friendly," Lee Yong-ping, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City, said at a forum in Taipei Thursday. “We provide assistance and subsidy for directors who are interested in shooting films in Taipei.”
Eight co-production film projects have been made in Taipei since last year, but the capital city aims higher and further, and has its eyes on the China film market, especially Shanghai.
The eight co-productions include renowned director Tsai Ming-liang’s new film “Face” (Taiwan-France co-production), rising director Arvin Chen’s upcoming film “First Page Taipei” (Taiwan-German co-production), director Hakon Liu’s “Miss Kicki” (Taiwan-Sweden co-production), just to name a few.
Taipei Film Commission, which began official operations on January 1, 2008, is the main organization providing assistance for film productions in Taipei City. Visit website for more information.
Lee, along with Frank Chen, director of the Department of Motion Picture Affairs of the Government Information Office, Wellington Fung, secretary general of Hong Kong’s Film Development Council, and Park Kyung Pil, commissioner of Korean Film Council, gathered in Taipei Thursday for a city forum under the tile of "Opportunities for Co-production and Film Marketing.” The forum was hosted by Lee’s department as part of the ongoing Taipei Film Festival activities.
Fung said his commission is keen on cultivating new directors, and gives help and subsidy to small and middle-scale film productions. “We encourage films that are artistic but also contain business marketing potential. We want artistic films and we want the market, too,” he said. "Hong Kong eyes Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Guangdong, for co-production deals."
Park noted that while Taipei City focuses more on providing locations for filmmakers, Korea offers assistance for directors from different countries to work together. Each year the Korean Film Council selects two co-production films, and gives production subsidies of up to US$400,000.
Korea makes about 60 to 100 films annually, and has a movie-watching population of 160 million. Korean filmmakers have co-produced films with their counterparts in Japan, Paris, and China.
Taiwan only produces 20 films annually and very few have box office returns that surpass NT$10 million. At the forum, Chen revealed the government’s five-year flagship project to help boost the local film industry.