Premier Hsieh Hosts First Meeting of the Executive Yuan's Coordination Committee for Film Industry Revitalization
Chaired by Premier Frank Hsieh as convener, the Executive Yuan Coordination Committee for Film Industry Revitalization met this afternoon (August 22) for the first time since its establishment. Hsieh pledged that NT$100 million would be slated as grants for directors and production companies winning important awards at the four major international film festivals. In addition, Government Information Office (GIO) Director Pasuya Yao reported during the meeting that plans for this year's Taipei TV Festival, to be held November 11-14, will combine the TV Festival with the Golden Horse Awards and Golden Bell Awards to create a three-in-one TV-film fair, bringing a new outlook and new commercial opportunities to local TV and film enterprises. GIO Director Yao and Executive Secretary Lai Ching-chi of the Executive Yuan's Development Fund held a joint news conference after the meeting, in which Yao noted that recipients of the NT$100 million award would be Chinese movie directors and production companies who win important awards at the four major international film festivals (including the Venice, Cannes, and Berlin festivals, along with the Academy Awards). Each would be awarded an NT$10 million prize, with an additional grant of NT$40 million possible for any film planned by such directors or companies within the two years after the award; total awards granted under the new plan could run as high as NT$100 million. GIO Director Yao indicated that plans for the three-in-one activity had their origins in the recent trend toward convergence in the visual media, a trend demonstrated by the moves toward integration in major TV and film activity venues such as the Cannes, Pusan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai festivals. In the past, holding the Golden Horse Awards, Golden Bell Awards, and the Taipei TV Festival separately left the GIO unable to effectively pool manpower and resources; the trial combination of an integrated TV and film festival in mid-November this year will bring them together in a sequence of activities comprising a "Taiwan Film and TV Fair." Such a pooling and integration of resources from local and international visual media industries is expected to create a synergy that should provide a fresh outlook and greater commercial opportunities for related local enterprises. To further enhance local filmmaking prospects, the GIO also proposes subsidies to attract foreign production teams to make films in Taiwan, through rebates of between 5 and 20% in connection with their cooperation with local directors and technicians and on expenditures for local consumption. GIO Director Yao notes that Premier Hsieh supports planned efforts in that direction as according with international trends, and has directed the GIO to undertake further study of the plan's details and appropriate funds through the budgeting process. Extraordinary expenditures in special cases that surpass the GIO budget, such as exceptionally large grants for outstanding contributions to the film industry, will be handled through application to the Executive Yuan for funds from the second budget reserve. Development Fund Executive Secretary Lai Ching-chi reported during the meeting on plans to fund creative TV and film industries with NT$200 million over a five-year period, while GIO Director Yao communicated Premier Hsieh's instruction to carry out planning on the basis of expediency, efficiency, and thoroughness in order that business proposals for investment in creative ventures be carried out smoothly with assistance from the Fund. GIO Director Yao also said that Executive Yuan Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Kung Chao-sheng is strongly supportive on the issue of financial assistance to TV and film industries, and has indicated he will work with the Ministry of Finance, the Small and Medium Enterprise Credit Guarantee Fund and the banking sector to develop mechanisms for appraisal of the intangible assets of TV and film enterprises, credit guarantees, and loans to alleviate the long-standing shortages of capital faced by those enterprises. Premier Hsieh called upon the FSC to give a status report on related issues at the next meeting of the Coordination Committee.