The groundbreaking ceremony for the “New construction engineering for Central Taiwan Film Studio” took place on the 20th, taking up an area of about 3.12 hectares, with a budget of approximately NT$780 million from the city government. The expected date of completion is during mid- 2018. After the studio is completed, not only the hardware will satisfy the filming and production needs of the film industry, but civil operating teams will further station in to provide services including professional techniques, facilities and labor, while also combining with relevant faculties from local institutions of higher education, such as Chaoyang University of Technology, Asia University, as well as Youth Senior High School, so as to construct an industry-academia collaborating channel in order to cultivate Taiwan’s film technical personnel. It shall also stimulate the overall economic development of the local area.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held by Mayor Chia-Lung Lin, and the city government also presented the results of promoting the film industry to Li-Chun Cheng, director for Ministry of Culture, with special blessings from directors Ang Lee and Te-Sheng Wei through video recordings. Famous celebrities including director Wen-Tang Cheng who had just received a Golden Bell Award and Chia-Chia Peng further took time out to attend the ceremony in order to show their support. Legislators Hsin-Chun Ho, Kuo-Shu Huang, Wan-Chien Chang-Liao, and city council members Fen-Yu Chang, Sung-Yu Fan, Tien-Sheng Li, Tsang-Yi Chang, Pi-Hsiu Lin and Min-Cheng Ho also attended as witnesses, while Chi-Chang Tsai, vice-president of legislative yuan with legislators Tzu-Yung Hung, Yung-Ming Hsu, Kuan-Heng Yen, Hsiu-Yen Lu and office representative from city council member Po-Hsing Su also participated to bring a ceremonious atmosphere.
Mayor Lin indicated, “Central Taiwan Film Studio” has been through two mayors and successive Government Information Office directors, appreciation must be given to Mayor Hu for establishing the foundation, and the new government also commissioned the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research to conduct industry demand survey after taking on the post, as well as consulted experts from various film industries. After considering the professional suggestions from many domains, it is adjusted into two large studios and one medium studio, together with deep-water pool, workshop, support service office and crew rest space. It is the outcome of the endeavors from everyone regardless the parties, with the common goal of promoting the development of the film industry.
Mayor Lin stated, the city government is currently continuing to communicate with the central government in order to fight for the national class filming studio land suggested by the Ministry of Culture, hoping to connect with the Wufeng filming studio to form an industrial corridor.
Li-Chun Cheng, director for Ministry of Culture appreciated Taichung City’s many years of preparation to allow for a successful groundbreaking for the “Central Taiwan Film Studio”. She mentioned that the goal for Taichung City’s project to create Central Taiwan Film Studio is consistent with the central government’s hope to promote Taiwan’s film industry, and Prime Minister Chuan Lin also pays great attention to this, hence she was invited to express appreciation and support from the central government towards Taichung City Government.
Director Cheng pointed out that Taiwan features an abundant geographical environment, a free and diverse society, as well as copious film talents, which is extremely suitable for attracting international film production projects to shoot in Taiwan. The central government hopes to create an ecosystem for film production services based on Taiwan as one scope and one station, including cinema, film studio, photo studio or various backup scenic spots, accompanied with the software policy to allow domestic film industry to cultivate talents, accumulate professionalism and create beneficial development environment. The projects at Taichung’s Central Taiwan Film Studio and Tainan’s International Class Film Studio in Shalun are all incorporated into the overall promotion, the central government will also recently integrate domestic industry demands together with foreign potential market energy, as well as related projects from various regions, hoping the labor division may be implemented to make the various regions of Taiwan to form a Taiwanese team, and march to the international market with the combination of national powers.
Kuan-Ting Cho, director-general of Government Information Office, stressed that in order to ensure the operating energy of the film studio, professional studio management team will be introduced to Taichung, currently, the Government Information Office is organizing OT business invitation based on the Act for Promotion of Private Participation in infrastructure projects, and has already made announcement on the website for Promotion of Private Participation, Ministry of Finance. The business invitation explanatory meeting will be held on the 27th, expecting to sign the contract with the operating companies by early 2017 if everything goes smoothly.
Director-general Cho indicated, after Central Taiwan Film Studio is completed, it will combine with local institutions of higher education, such as Chaoyang University of Technology, Asia University, as well as Youth Senior High School, so as to construct an industry-academia collaborating channel in order to cultivate Taiwan’s film technical personnel, and to stimulate the overall economic development of the local area.
Government Information Office stated, in order to cultivate the film industry, the Taichung City Government has been actively planning to promote the project on “Central Taiwan Movie Promotional Park” after Ang Lee filmed “Life of Pi” in Taichung in 2011, including the “Central Taiwan Movie Center” located in Taichung Gateway, as well as “Central Taiwan Film Studio” located in Wufeng.
Among these, the planning for “Central Taiwan Film Studio” constructed in Wufeng region includes the sole artificial wave-production pool in Taiwan, deep-water pool, two large photo studios, one medium photo studio, workshop, support service office space and crew accommodation space…etc., which will become the first comprehensive professional movie filming base constructed by the government and operated by the civil field. More domestic and foreign crews will be attracted to shoot films here with the measures such as subsidy and support-shooting from the Government Information Office and Taichung Film Development Foundation.
Government Information Office pointed out, that other than constructing the hardware, the city government has further compiled NT$30 million per year at the moment for filming and accommodation subsidies in the aspect of promoting the film industry, and another NT$30 million has been compiled per year as of this year to subsidize Taichung Film Development Foundation in organizing film investment, film activities, and film support-shooting.
Mayor Lin anticipates that after the film studio has been activated, endeavors may be put forward for the relevant budget to be raised from the current NT$60 million per year to NT$100 million per year in order to cultivate the film industry, taking the overall film industry development energy and layout to the peak and attracting more crews to film in Taiwan with local magnificent sceneries, such as Guang Fu New Village, Wufeng Lin Family, and even characteristic scenic spots in other regions of Taichung, thereby stimulating the movie-related industrial cluster chain, cultivating Taiwan’s movie technical personnel, promoting local overall economic development to allow Taichung become the vigorous base for Taiwan’s film industry.
Congratulatory videos from directors Ang Lee and Te-Sheng Wei were played on site, with director Ang Lee acknowledging Taichung City’s excellent climate and resource criteria in the congratulatory video, making it the ideal venue as Taiwan’s film studio, and knowing the city government is going to build a film studio in Wufeng. He gave his blessings for prosperity for the groundbreaking ceremony and all constructions, filming, operation and Taiwan’s movies in the future, and wished that everything may go along smoothly. Director Te-Sheng Wei also complimented the city government for keeping the wave machine left by director Ang Lee, and developing it into a large film studio as having profound vision. He also anticipates that the first pool filming studio in Asia, may create a new page in the history of Taiwan’s film industry. He also gave blessings for a successful and smooth construction engineering.
Legislators Hsin-Chun Ho, Kuo-Shu Huang, and Wan-Chien Chang-Liao all gave recognitions towards the city government for promoting the film industry, and legislator Ho appreciated the city government as well as everyone’s support to allow for a successful groundbreaking of the film studio, she was happy to see the central government fully supporting Taichung City Government’s film policy. Legislator Huang mentioned, when director Ang Lee was filming “Life of Pi” in Taichung several years ago with outstanding results obtained on the international, everyone began to think about the possibilities of developing the film industry in Taichung. He pointed out the deep connections between Taichung and movie development, as Wufeng’s culture is also diversified, and there are abundant resources for Taichung City to become a cultural city and for the development of the film industry. Therefore, endeavors are anticipated from everyone in order to complete the promotion of the film studio smoothly.
Legislator Chang-Liao also acknowledged Taichung City’s adequate preparations towards promoting the development of the film industry, and also witnessed Mayor Lin’s resolution to not only have a film studio in Wufeng, but also a movie center at Shuinan. This is in hopes that Taichung City, which used to be the cultural city in the past, may become a leader in the industry and allow central Taiwan to promote the prosperity of Taiwan’s film industry.
Guests including Chen-Tai Mao – vice president of the Department of National Spatial Planning and Development, National Development Council; Pin-Chuan Chen – CEO of Taiwan Film Institute, Hung-Yu Li – district head of Wufeng; Wu-Chiang Chen – principal of Gi-Fong Elementary School, Wufeng District; Hsi-Hui Lin – president of Taichung Film Development Foundation, and Hsin-Yi Chou – member of Taichung City Film Commission all attended to witness the event