Following a presentation Thursday by the Ministry of Culture (MOC) on achievements in the revitalization and guidance of national cinema, Premier Su Tseng-chang said that Taiwan has the world's richest repository of moving stories, and that the government would continue its assistance and support for the movie industry. The premier said that in addition to sharing the nation's many engaging tales with the world, domestic cinema can draw talent from abroad to come make films in Taiwan.
The government in recent years has been heavily engaged in the conservation and preservation of Taiwan audiovisual assets, establishing the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute, approving a medium-term audiovisual and music industry development program, and setting up the Taiwan Creative Content Agency. The premier expressed hope that the government, foundations and the private sector can come together as a national team to provide support for Taiwan's outstanding creative talents, enabling the creation and realization of many more beautiful and engaging stories of Taiwan to share with the world.
The MOC was also thanked for bringing back the movie-going public with its "arts fun go" voucher program aimed at movies and other cultural activities to complement the central government's triple stimulus voucher program. Premier Su also expressed appreciation to all those responsible for Taiwan's success in holding back COVID-19, so that even as the rest of the world locked down, people here were able to visit cinemas. As a result, Taiwanese films in 2020 set recent records for highest attendance, box office and percentage of total box office receipts. The premier speculated that the story of Taiwan's COVID-19 achievements in fighting the coronavirus could make for a moving film on its own.
The past few years have been good for Taiwan cinema, said Premier Su. He singled out director Chung Mong-hong's 2019 film, A Sun, which has made the Academy Awards final-15 shortlist for best international feature film. The premier said that if A Sun is selected, it would be the first movie from Taiwan since Ang Lee's to enter the competition as an official nominee.
New Zealand's tax benefits for the film industry should be referenced by responsible ministries and agencies as a means to attract global film industry talent to Taiwan, Premier Su said. With a population of a mere 4 million-plus, the country nevertheless hosts a global center of filmmakers from around the world. On the other hand, Taiwan's 23 million people inhabit a land with suitable conditions where a traveler need spend but a single hour to journey from highest peak to shining sea.
If given the opportunity, generation upon future generation of directors and cinema talent will apply their vision and skills to make movies telling the full story of past sacrifices and labor devoted to building Taiwan, the premier said.