New pact opens door for Taiwan-France filmmaking opportunities

A partnership agreement fostering enhanced cooperation between the Taiwan and French film industries was inked March 13 by Taipei Film Commission and Paris Coproduction Village on the sidelines of the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market fair.

Under the pact, the two sides will jointly organize the 2017 Paris Coproduction Village-Focus on Taiwan running June 20-22 during Industry Week of the Champs-Elysees Film Festival in the French capital. In addition, at least three projects from Taiwan will be included in the 12-title lineup of the focus, which provides local filmmakers with the opportunity to meet with international buyers, investors and producers.

Another activity covered by the agreement is a seminar on productions between Taiwan and France, with an emphasis on promoting the former as the location for the lion's share of shooting commitments.

Chung Yung-feng, commissioner of Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs�the agency responsible for TFC�described the pact as a major breakthrough and following in the footsteps of the agreement on film industry collaboration concluded with Ile de France Film Commission in 2010. It is hoped that the latest partnership will further strengthen bilateral ties on the moviemaking front, he added.

According to Chung, Taipei and Paris enjoy frequent cultural exchanges and share numerous concepts and values. Taiwan's filmmakers and filmmaking industry are heavily influenced by French new wave cinema, with the two sides teaming up on several beautiful productions over the years, he said.

An outstanding example is the 2014 Scarlett Johansson vehicle Lucy, which marked a successful collaboration between TFC and French director Luc Besson of Leon and The Fifth Element fame. TFC provided full behind-the-scenes support to Besson and his foreign production crew during an 11-day shoot in Taipei City.

Pierre-Emmanuel Fleurantin, CEO of Paris Coproduction Village�a development and financing platform organized by Les Arcs European Film Festival�said Taiwan occupies an important place in cinema for French and Europe cinephiles, adding that he grew up watching the great works by renowned Taiwan directors Hou Hsiao-hsien and Edward Yang.

This potential-packed partnership is poised to introduce a new generation of Taiwan directors to Europe while expanding the global reach of filmmakers from the two sides, he added.

Since its establishment in 2008, TFC has assisted in the production of over 3,770 movies, TV dramas and commercials, among which 527 were collaborations with international producers. The latest project is Operation, a movie by South Korean director Yoon Jong-bin shot in Taipei and Hsinchu cities.

Source: Taiwan Today