Three Taiwanese win Asia-Pacific Producers Network awards

Taipei-Taiwanese actress Hsu Wei-ning, actor Wu Kang-ren and producer Tseng Han-hsien were announced Monday as the recipients of the best actress, actor and producer awards presented by the Asia-Pacific Producers Network (APN).

The APN is a network initiated by South Korean film producers in 2006, with the purpose of promoting cooperation among film production industries in the Asia-Pacific region.

This year, around 45 film producers and directors from countries outside Taiwan, including Japan, China, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand, joined their counterparts from Taiwan at the APN annual meeting in Taoyuan.

Each year at the APN annual meeting, which is held in rotation among member countries, the network awards an actress and actor of the host country to recognize their outstanding performances. This year, a producer award was also handed out.

Japanese actor Kenichi Matsuyama, Chinese actress Zhou Xun and South Korean actor Lee Byung-hun were previous recipients of the APN awards.

"It's an honor to be here. Thank you for giving me this award," said Hsu, who won the best actress award at the 2016 Taipei Film Awards with her role in the horror film "The Tag-Along," at the awards ceremony.

In his acceptance speech, Wu, who won last year's Golden Bell best actor award for his performance in the TV series "A Touch of Green," said he will continue to make films and "work hard to become an actor known in all of Asia and the world."

Meanwhile, Tseng, founder of Greener Grass Production who produced films such as "The Tag-Along" and "Wake Up 2," said producers in Taiwan face a very difficult environment and he hopes to help others through his own experience.

He said he used to wonder what he should do with his life, but his passion for films sustained him on his path.

Tseng noted that all of his story ideas came from Taiwan, which he said is facing major changes to its social structures. "Taiwan enriches us. It is our muse," he said.

Earlier in the day, forums were held as part of the APN meeting to discuss film co-productions in the Asia-Pacific region and Taiwan's film subsidies.

Yang Hsiu-yu , an official with the Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development, said the government helped overseas filmmakers shoot more than 240 films and TV productions in Taiwan last year.

Taiwan is an ideal place for shooting films, Yang said, because it has diverse landscapes, from mountains and valleys to hills, and they can be reached within one day from Taipei, saving a lot of time for film crews.

The combination of old and new buildings and Taiwan's diverse indigenous culture and food also makes it an interesting place for films to be made, Yang noted.

James Liu, head of the APN this year and president of Joint Entertainment International Inc., said he hopes the APN meeting can inspire local producers to tap overseas markets.

He said China's blockade of South Korea's film and entertainment industry had prompted South Korea to rethink the future of its industry, presenting an opportunity for Taiwan

Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council