2008 Government Information Office Directions for Funding Strategically Targeted Domestically Produced Motion Pictures
Promulgated January 24, 2008, by Government Information Office
Decree Sin Ying I No. 096052177Z
Article 1 Goal
These Directions have been specially formulated by the Government Information Office (hereinafter referred to as the “GIO”) to encourage the production of domestically produced motion pictures of both cultural/artistic and commercial value.
Article 2 Application period
The GIO shall begin accepting applications for funding on the day of the promulgation of these Directions and shall, in principle, review applications once every two months, though the frequency of application reviews may be adjusted if necessary. In the event that this year’s budget becomes inadequate for further funding, the GIO may cease to process applications.
Article 3 Ratio and amount of funding
The amount of funding for each successful application shall not exceed 30 percent of the estimated total production costs for the specified film. The GIO may also assist applicants with loan financing or investment from the National Development Fund.
Article 4 Qualifications
1. Production by single enterprise: The applicant shall be a motion picture production enterprise registered under Republic of China (ROC) law.
2. Production by joint venture: At least one party, and also the applicant, shall be a motion picture production enterprise registered under ROC law.
Article 5 Pre-application advisory services
The GIO may employ professionals to advise applicants on filling out application forms, writing film plans, and other related issues.
Article 6 Requirements
To qualify for funding, a film shall:
1. conform to the conditions of a “domestically produced motion picture” as stipulated in Article 1 of The Criteria Differentiating Domestically Produced Motion Pictures, Domestic Motion Pictures, and Foreign Motion Pictures (see Appendix), and shall be part or entirely filmed in Taiwan;
2. have estimated total production costs in excess of NT$30 million;
3. in principle, have a “general audience,” “protected,” or “parental guidance” rating;
4. be at least 60 minutes in length;
5. Have a film gauge that meets one of the following specifications:
(1) Filmed in 35mm format or super-16mm format or higher, and duplicated in 35mm format
(2) Where digital camcorders are used for filming, duplicates shall be produced in 35mm format or output into cinematic digital files for screening;
6. not have obtained a screening license before the day of the promulgation of these Directions;
7. not have received any other production funding from the GIO.
Article 7 Application form and film plan
To apply for this year’s funding, applicants shall submit a completed application form (see Appended Table I) and film plan to the GIO.
The film plan shall be completed in line with the requirements listed below. Where no relevant information is available for a particular item, this should be indicated by the words “No information available.” In all other cases, the following documentation should be attached to the film plan in the following order:
1. A description of the current operations and track record (including awards, domestic box office sales, and revenue from overseas copyright sales and peripheral products for past films) of the applicant and, where applicable, of its foreign joint venture partner(s). Documents to be attached:
(1) Photocopies of documentation proving legal registration of the applicant and foreign joint venture partner(s)
(2) Where applicable, a photocopy of the joint venture agreement between the applicant and foreign joint venture partner(s)
2. A production plan covering the following items, with documentation required under Item 5:
(1) Film details: Title, type, rating, estimated length, objective or purpose of production, format, planned filming locations, and preliminary production schedule
(2) Film synopsis and name of screenwriter
(3) Production team (please list the names and track records of the producer, director, screenwriter, main actors, and creative and technical team members)
(4) Estimated total production cost (see Appended Table II)
a) A photocopy of authorization from the screenwriter
b) In case of a screenplay adaptation, a copy of the original work and a written authorization from the copyright holder
c) A photocopy of hiring contracts or agreements for production team members
3. A marketing plan covering the following items, with documentation required under Item 8:
(1) Market positioning strategy, market analysis, and target audience analysis
(2) Distribution strategy and marketing plan
(3) Details of the track record of the domestic distributor(s), preliminary screening schedule, marketing strategy and approach, estimated box office sales, and estimated revenue from copyright sales
(4) Promotion strategy and approach for the international market, track record of the international distributor(s), plan for participating in international film festivals, and estimated revenue from overseas copyright sales
(5) Estimated marketing and promotion costs
(6) A breakdown of the film’s copyright transactions
(7) Schedule for, and amount of, estimated returns
a) A photocopy of the contract or agreement signed with the domestic distributor(s)
b) A photocopy of the contract or agreement signed with the international distributor(s)
c) Photocopies of contracts or agreements signed with domestic screening establishments
d) Photocopies of contracts or agreements for film copyright sales
4. Fundraising plan for the film (including source(s) of funds, amount to be raised, proportion to be raised from each source, and fundraising schedule), financial statement, financial risk management plan, and photocopies of fundraising contracts
5. Copy of the applicant’s balance sheet and profit and loss statement for the previous three years; for businesses established for less than three years, the same documents should be provided for the period since establishment
6. If the film’s director has received one or more of the following awards, certifying documentation should be attached:
(1) First prize, second prize, jury prize, or best director award for films competing in Class A or B film festivals as defined in the GIO’s Enforcement Guidelines Governing the Provision of Incentives and Guidance to the Motion Picture Industry and Industry Workers Participating in International Film Festivals
(2) First prize or best director award for films competing in Class C or D film festivals as defined in the Enforcement Guidelines Governing the Provision of Incentives and Guidance to the Motion Picture Industry and Industry Workers Participating in International Film Festivals
7. Evaluation of the benefits the film will bring to, and a plan of the film’s contributions to, Taiwan’s film industry
8. The film script
9. Any other documents specified by the GIO
For application forms and film plans that do not conform to Article 6, that are incomplete, or that do not include the required documentation, the GIO may request that the applicant remedy this within a fixed period of time. Applications that have not been remedied within the specified time frame will not be considered by the GIO.
Applications received by the GIO will be sent by the GIO to the review committee only after the budget for this year’s funding has been approved by the Legislative Yuan.
Article 8 Review panel, committee, and agenda
1. Review panel: Comprises GIO representatives and GIO-recruited professionals, academics, and experts on the film and television industries, as well as on accounting and finance. The review panel shall establish a “core group” and a “professional group.”
2. Review committee: Based on the nature of each application, the GIO shall form a review committee comprising GIO representatives, four to five members each from the core group and the professional group. A GIO representative shall chair the committee, which shall hold meetings only when at least three quarters of the committee members are present.
3. Review committee members shall adhere to the principles of impartiality and recusal. Prior to reviewing an application, committee members shall sign a statement declaring that they have no connection with the application to be reviewed, and agree to keep all matters discussed confidential. The GIO may remove members from the committee if they act in violation of, or knowingly withhold relevant information when signing, the statement. If it is proved that a committee member is connected to a funding application in any way, the GIO shall rescind the application’s funding approval.
4. Recommendations as to whether a film shall receive funding and how much funding it should receive shall have the approval of at least two-thirds of the review committee members.
5. Recommendations regarding matters not covered in the preceding subparagraph shall have the approval of more than half of the review committee members.
6. Recommendations mentioned in the preceding two subparagraphs shall be ratified by the GIO.
7. Applications that are not approved for funding may be resubmitted after revisions have been made based on recommendations from the GIO.
8. Committee members will not be remunerated except for review fees, attendee stipends, and travel expenses in accordance with regulations.
Article 9 Contract with the GIO and contract performance guarantee
A motion picture production enterprise that receives funding (hereinafter referred to as the “funding recipient”) shall not commission the filming or production of the funded domestically produced motion picture (hereinafter referred to as the “funded film”) to any other motion picture production enterprise. However, funding recipients may, upon approval by the GIO, produce the motion picture as a joint venture with a local or foreign motion picture production enterprise(s).
Funding recipients shall sign a production contract with the GIO before the deadline set by the GIO. If this deadline is not met, the GIO shall cancel the recipient’s funding approval. Details of the production contract shall be defined by the GIO separately from these Directions.
For films produced as joint ventures, a production contract shall be signed between the GIO and the funding applicant, which shall be a motion picture production enterprise established according to the laws of the ROC. Upon contract signing, a written agreement from the joint venture partner(s) to abide by these Directions and fulfill the production contract obligations shall be supplied.
Funding recipients shall pay a contract performance guarantee to the GIO (amounting to one-tenth of the total funding from the GIO) within one month of the contract being signed. A trust agreement may not be signed until the contract performance guarantee has been paid in full.
Article 10 Trust agreement
Funding recipients shall, within one month of signing a film production contract with the GIO, commission a trust facility to manage the awarded funding. The trust agreement shall be submitted to the GIO for approval prior to its signing. The signing of the trust agreement shall take place within one month of the agreement being approved by the GIO.
Article 11 Trust management
1. After a trust agreement has been signed, recipients shall apply to release the awarded funds from the GIO by presenting a receipt detailing the amount of funding to be received, as well as documents certifying that trust management and verification fees have been paid. The GIO will release the funding to the trust facility so that it may be transferred to the recipient in accordance with the trust agreement.
2. The conditions and procedure for paying funding via the trust facility shall be in accordance with the trust agreement. Funding recipients may apply for funding to be paid in installments and, when applying for each installment, shall provide the relevant documents as stipulated by the trust agreement. Installments may be paid only after the relevant documents have been verified by the trust facility, and may only be applied for once receipts accounting for the amount of funding paid in the previous installment have been presented and verified as valid expenditure. When applying for the release of an installment by the trust facility, recipients shall submit original receipts for, and a breakdown of, expenses incurred.
3. With the exception of the initial and final installments, each installment may not exceed 50 percent of the actual verified production expenditure, nor may it exceed the maximum installment limit stipulated by the trust facility.
4. The final installment should, in principle, account for 35 percent of the total funding. However, the actual sum of the final installment shall be adjusted according to the actual amount of funding calculated in the settlement of accounts and approved by the GIO (for more information on the settlement of accounts, please see Article 14).
Trust management fees are to be paid by the funding recipient.
The trust facility shall hire professionals (subject to advance approval by the GIO) to monitor the production progress of the funded film, review receipts for production costs, and review applications for the release of installments. The funding recipient is responsible for all expenses incurred.
Management and verification fees mentioned in the preceding two paragraphs may be included as production costs.
Any interest paid into the trust account shall be paid to the GIO.
The trust facility shall submit statements of the film’s revenue and expenditure to the GIO at regular intervals.
Article 12 Production deadlines
The production period for funded films shall not exceed 30 months, and 36 months for films made entirely in animation format. The actual production period shall be examined by the review committee, which will then submit its recommendations to the GIO for approval.
Funding recipients shall complete the funded film within the period approved by the GIO and apply for a review by the GIO according to Paragraph 1 of Article 13. Recipients who are unable to complete the funded film in the period of time approved by the GIO shall apply for an extension by submitting a written explanation one month prior to the production deadline. Though no limit will be applied to the number of extensions permitted, the total accumulated length of time allocated in the extensions shall not exceed six months. Recommendations regarding the length of extensions shall be made by the original review committee convened by the GIO, and then submitted to the GIO for approval.
Article 13 Film Review
On completing a funded film, funding recipients shall apply to the GIO for a review by submitting a review application form, registration certificates for motion picture industry professionals, a copy of the film, and related documents verifying that the film conforms to the first and second subparagraphs of the following paragraph. In cases where review documents are incomplete, the GIO will ask applicants to remedy this within a specified timeframe.
For complete applications, the GIO shall invite members of the original review committee to review the film by taking the following points into consideration and report their recommendations to the GIO for approval:
1. Does the film conform to Article 6 and Subparagraph 5 of Article 16?
2. Does the film conform to the production plan?
3. How is the quality of the film production?
For films that do not pass the review stage, the GIO may ask applicants to revise their work within a specified timeframe and resubmit it for review. The total accumulated time for revisions may not exceed six months.
Article 14 Settlement of accounts
1. Funding recipients shall, within two months of their films passing the review stage, apply for a review of account settlement by submitting the following written reports and documents to the GIO:
(1) Details of the production team, production process (including filming and post-production work), and employees (including the number of employees hired and hiring expenses incurred during filming and post-production. Employees shall be categorized into those employed for more than one year, more than six months, and less than six months, and calculated separately, with each referred to as “long-term,” “mid-term,” and “short-term” employees, respectively).
(2) Breakdown of total expenditure approved by a certified accountant. (For personnel expenses, copies of employees’ salary withholding certificates shall be attached. Additional information is required for expenses incurred overseas.)
(3) Documents from the trust facility certifying expenditure made.
(4) Written authorization as detailed in subparagraphs 3 and 4 of Article 16.
2. Review criteria for the settlement of accounts are as follows:
(1) Where actual total production expenditure (i.e. that verified by the trust facility) reaches the production plan estimate approved by the GIO, the GIO will award the recipient the approved amount of funding.
(2) Where actual total production expenditure for the film exceeds NT$30 million and is more than twice the amount of funding available from the GIO, but does not reach the production plan estimate approved by the GIO, the amount of funding to which a receipt is entitled will be calculated based on the actual total production expenditure and using the funding ratio originally approved by the GIO (see Article 3). Where overage occurs, surplus funding shall be returned to the GIO.
Article 15 Screening of funded films
Films produced with GIO funding shall be screened commercially through domestic screening channels within twelve months of passing the review stage. Recipients unable to meet this deadline shall apply to the GIO for an extension at least one month before the deadline. Extensions will be for a maximum of six months and can only be applied for once.
A film produced with GIO funding cannot be broadcast on cable, terrestrial, or satellite television channels until three months after the date of the film’s first commercial screening.
Article 16 Obligations for funding recipients
1. On completion of a funded film, total actual production expenditure shall be at least NT$30 million and at least twice the amount of funding awarded from the GIO.
2. If alterations are to be made to a joint venture production, such as to the funded film’s title, rating, format, synopsis, producer, director, screenwriter, or major actors, funding recipients shall apply for permission by providing a written explanation and relevant certifying documents. Alterations may only be made after approval has been granted from members of the original review committee and ratified by the GIO.
3. After a funded film has been approved under Article 13, the funding recipient shall provide the Chinese Taipei Film Archive (CTFA) with a complementary 35mm unused copy of the film for archiving, and a second complementary 35mm copy for promotional purposes. The funding recipient shall also provide written authorization granting the CTFA the right to, without charge, use the film for non-commercial public screenings, performances, oral presentations, and exhibitions for an unlimited period of time; and to use the film after reproduction, remaking (including, but not limited to, optical disk format and various language versions), or partial editing for the following purposes:
(1) Public screenings, performances, oral presentations, and exhibitions that are part of non-profit events
(2) Non-profit public broadcasts, performances, oral presentations, and exhibitions on terrestrial, cable, and satellite television channels
(3) Public transmission, performances, oral presentations, and exhibitions on websites affiliated with the CTFA
4. The funding recipient shall provide written authorization granting the GIO, persons authorized by the GIO, foreign offices of the GIO, and administrative organizations inheriting, as a result of changes to organic laws or regulations, responsibility for these Directions and matters concerning contracts for the production of funded films the right to, without charge, use the film after reproduction, remaking (including, but not limited, to optical disk format and various language versions), or partial editing for the following purposes:
(1) Public screening, performances, oral presentations, and exhibitions that are part of non-profit events
(2) Non-profit public broadcasts, performances, oral presentations, and exhibitions on terrestrial, cable, and satellite television channels
(3) Public transmission, performances, oral presentations, and exhibitions on the websites of the aforementioned administrative organizations and foreign offices
5. The line “This film was made with 2008 Government Information Office Funding for Strategically Targeted Domestically Produced Films,” or words to the same effect, shall be included in the film’s closing credits.
6. Funding recipients shall participate in promotional activities held by the GIO for local films and film festivals designated by the GIO.
Article 17 Concluding a film funding case and returning the contract performance guarantee
Funding recipients shall, within 24 months of their funded film passing the review stage, apply to conclude the funding case by submitting the written reports and documents listed below. Once an application has passed the review by the GIO, the GIO shall return the contract performance guarantee, without interest, to funding recipients.
1. Certifying documents according to Article 15, paragraphs 1 and 2
2. Details of actual distribution and returns (including time periods for domestic and international distribution, the time period in which returns were made, and the total and sources of returns)
3. Evaluation of the benefits the film will bring to, and a plan of the film’s contributions to, Taiwan’s film industry
4. Record of participation, shortlisting, and awards garnered at film festivals
5. Breakdown of total revenue and expenditure (expenditure to include production, distribution, and advertising costs; revenue to include domestic and international box office sales, loans, private investment, government funding and investment, private sponsorship, revenue derived from domestic and international copyright sales and distribution, and earnings derived from peripheral merchandise)
6. A document issued by the CTFA verifying the receipt of two complementary 35mm unused copies of the film from the funding recipient
When concluding a funding case, if the total revenue from domestic and overseas copyright sales exceeds the actual total production expenditure, a percentage of the excess amount, which will be calculated based on the percentage of the total production expenditure provided by funding, shall be returned to the GIO, in order that it can be returned to the Treasury. However, the amount to be returned will not exceed the received funding amount.
Article 18 Violation of these Directions
1. In the event of any of the following circumstances, the GIO may revoke its funding approval (signed contracts may be nullified without notice, and any funding already distributed shall be returned unconditionally to the GIO) and retain the contract performance guarantee:
(1) Certifying documents submitted in accordance with the items of Article 7, Subparagraph 2 are determined to be false by the GIO
(2) Violation of the production contract or trust agreement (not include violations punishable under these Directions and the terms of the trust agreement)
(3) Violation of Article 12
(4) Failure to take remedial measures by the deadline set by the GIO after having failed to submit documents for review in compliance with Article 13, Paragraph 1, or having submitted incomplete documents
(5) Failure to make revisions by the relevant deadline or to pass a second review after revisions have been made after receiving notification from the GIO to revise the funded film under Article 13, Paragraph 3
(6) Failure to take remedial measures by the deadline set by the GIO after having failed to submit reports and documentation by the relevant deadline in compliance with Article 14, Subparagraph 1, or having submitted incomplete reports or documents
(7) Failure to pass the funding review for the settlement of accounts under Article 14, Subparagraph 1
(8) Violation of Article 15, paragraphs 1 or 2
(9) Changing without authorization the rating of the funded film, or violating Article 6, subparagraphs 1 or 4 during the commercial screening of a funded film
(10) In violation of Article 16, Subparagraph 1, the actual production expenditure of the funded film is less than NT$30 million or less than twice the amount of funding awarded by the GIO
(11) Violation of Article 16, Subparagraph 2
(12) A court rules that the funded film has infringed intellectual property rights
(13) Use of improper means to influence the impartiality of review committee members, as verified to be true
2. For failure to pay the contract performance guarantee by the specified deadline under Article 9, Paragraph 4, the GIO shall revoke its funding approval and rescind the production contract without notice. Funding recipients shall reimburse one-tenth of the total approved funding stated in the production contract to the GIO.
3. For failure to sign a trust agreement by the specified deadline in violation of Article 10, the GIO shall revoke its funding approval, rescind the production contract without notice, and retain the contract performance guarantee.
4. In the event of any of the following circumstances, the GIO shall retain the contract performance guarantee and terminate the production contract:
(1) Violation of Article 16, Subparagraph 6
(2) Failure to take remedial measures by the deadline set by the GIO after having failed to submit written reports and documents by the relevant deadline in compliance with Article 17, or having submitted incomplete reports or documents. This does not apply to circumstances described in Subparagraph 1, Item 8 of this article
(3) Failure to pass the review for the settlement of accounts described in Article 17. This does not apply to the situation described in Subparagraph 1, Item 8 of this article
5. If, after signing a production contract with the GIO, the funding recipient abandons the production (or has begun shooting but not finished production) of the funded film after November 30, 2008, the GIO shall revoke its funding approval, rescind the production contract without notice, and retain the contract performance guarantee. Funding recipients shall unconditionally return any funding already received. Those who have yet to pay the contract performance guarantee or sign a trust agreement shall be dealt with according to subparagraphs 2 or 3.
6. Recipients whose funding approval has been revoked by the GIO shall reimburse any indemnity incurred and pay back funding already received by the deadline set by the GIO. The GIO shall not accept applications for other guidance funding from those who have not paid these amounts in full.
Article 19 Other
In the event that any queries or discrepancies arise, these Directions shall be subject to interpretation by the GIO.
Note: In case of discrepancy between the Chinese and English versions of these Directions, the Chinese version will prevail.