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GIO announces $3m in flagship subsidies
By Stephen Cremin
Sat, 10 July 2010, 14:38 PM (HKT)
Taiwan's Government Information Office (新聞局) have announced the first phase recipients of its recently promulgated flagship and strategic motion picture subsidy scheme (旗艦組國產電影片補助金).
The four successful projects are Wang Tung's (王童) Once Upon a Time in Taiwan (海峽), Chen Yu-hsun's (陳玉勳) 必殺技 (literally, The Killing Move), Hou Hsiao-hsien's (侯孝賢) The Assassin (聶隱娘) and Wei Te-sheng's (魏德聖, pictured) Seediq Bale (賽德克巴萊).
The Strait will be the first live-action film by veteran Wang Tung in almost a decade. In 2005, he co-directed animation Fire Ball (紅孩兒決戰火焰山, as "Wang Toon"), based on the legend of the Monkey King. Wang's project received the largest subsidy, NT$30 million ($934,000).
The Killing Move will mark the long-awaited return to directing of Chen Yu-hsun who previously made Tropical Fish (熱帶魚, 1995) and Love Go Go (愛情來了, 1997). His action-comedy, which plans to shoot as a China co-production, received a subsidy of NT$20 million ($625,000).
Hou Hsiao-hsien has also been awarded NT$20 million ($625,000) for his long-delayed martial arts fantasy The Assassin. Hou was previously awarded a production subsidy of $468,000 in December 2005, and assurance that 30% of the budget would be provided by the government's National Development Fund.
Finally, Wei Tei-sheng's Seediq Bale — about an aborigine uprising during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan — received a subsidy of NT$25 million ($780,000). Since he has almost completed his shoot, he is already eligible for a first payment of NT$8.75 million ($273,000).
According to GIO documents, the intention of the scheme is to "encourage the production of domestically produced motion pictures of both cultural/artist and commercial value". Production companies may submit applications for the second phase of the scheme in September.
The amount of funding for each film cannot exceed 30% of the estimated total production costs, although the GIO may also assist the filmmakers with securing loan financing or investment from the National Development Fund. Foreign producers may submit for funding through a local production partner.