When the film industry’s representatives arrive in Venice this year, it will be difficult not to notice Taiwan everywhere they turn. At a press conference held by the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) just before the opening of the Biennale Cinema, the focus was not only on directors, actors, and producers, but also on editors, Foley artists, VFX specialists, publishers, theater owners, and creative directors of tech companies, who all took the stage to make their presence felt.
Taiwan will send one restored film to Venice Classics this year, two co-produced new movies to Orizzonti and Venice Day, and three works to the Venice Immersive Competition. Away from the general public, Taiwan’s industry will be highlighted as a Venice Production Bridge (VPB) in Focus. Five feature films, two of which Taiwan is a minor production partner, and four immersive projects have been invited to the industry platform to compete for worldwide collaborators. Three publishers also join the Book Adaptation Rights Market, while two panels on Taiwan’s International Co-Financing Program (TICP) and its XR industry provide a new dimension to its physical and virtual market outreach.
The invitation from Venice, the famous A-list film festival, to Taiwan, according to TAICCA CEO Izero Lee, not only validates the quality of Taiwan’s work and exhibits its vast variety of abilities, but it also highlights Taiwan’s power and potential to interact globally. The initial outcomes of TAICCA’s funding scheme TICP, For My Country, and The Last Queen, demonstrate TAICCA’s emphasis on portraying Taiwan as a co-production partner. TAICCA’s market pavilion and industry panels in Venice aim to shape Taiwan’s image as a worldwide participant in cultural content. Taiwan will make significant progress from its position of production support to acquire more attention on the global stage for its corpus of creative works.
The late, great Edward Yang‘s A Confucian Confusion will be shown at Venice Classics, highlighting Taiwan’s lengthy movie legacy. Taiwan Film & Audiovisual Institute was exclusively responsible for the restoration of this rarely seen film. Although it was a unique work at the time, the sentiment is still relevant today.
Taiwan’s co-production on the French film For My Country, which competed at the Orizzonti, the program showcasing the newest aesthetic and expressive trends, demonstrates the versatility of Taiwanese production teams. It also marks Vivian Sung’s second participation in a festival film, after Midi Z‘s Nina Wu.
The Last Queen, a French-Algerian initiative, earns TICP a win at Venice Day. Taiwan’s post-production crew of editors, sound designers, and VFX artists give this historical battle drama an epic aesthetic.
Three pieces in the Venice Immersive Island competition demonstrate Taiwan’s creative flexibility and varied variety of subjects. The Man Who Couldn’t Leave, director Singing Chen‘s second VR production, was commissioned by the National Human Rights Museum and places the stories of political prisoners in a transformational atmosphere. All That Remains is Taiwan’s Riverbed Theater’s debut VR piece. Red Tail, produced by Kaohsiung Film Archive and Taiwan Public Television Service, is the result of two years of hard labor by its team of animators.
VPB has Taiwan linked to five feature film projects and four immersive projects. Be With Me, Tales of Taipei, and Who’ll Stop the Rain are all in Taiwanese. Stranger Eyes and I, the Song, respectively, are funded and co-produced initiatives with Singapore and Bhutan. These projects are trying to connect and discover additional production, financial, and sales partners. The Immersive area includes four projects: Mirror, Father’s Video Tapes, Somewhere Unknown in Indochina, and Sensing Mirror. The teams behind these initiatives are excited to share technical and artistic ideas and gain further visibility on the global stage.
Taiwan will be the sole Asian exhibitor at the Book Adaptation Rights Market, which will be its inaugural. Dala Publishing Company, Emily Books Agency, and The Grayhawk Agency offer content such as novels, illustrated books, and comics that are ready to be converted into films and television programs. Extending the commercial potential of compelling tales beyond the conventional boundaries of printed media is the goal of the exploitation of these original IPs beyond the traditional confines of printed media.
TAICCA will set up a physical Taiwan Pavilion at Venice Immersive Market in addition to its virtual one to reach out to a bigger international audience and potential. It will consist of 67 initiatives, businesses, practitioners, and venue operators. Several dozens of VR works will be displayed at the booth for industrial visitors, backed by in-person connections to Taiwan creators and enterprises, establishing bridges to the worldwide industry ecosystem, and exploring the potential for export and international co-production.
Two VPB panels, ‘Rolling with Taiwan – Introducing Taiwan & TAICCA’s Upscale Resources for Co-production’ and ‘Culture & Tech – The Joint Forces Empowering Taiwan’s Future Content,’ will highlight Taiwan’s goal of becoming Asia’s best co-producing partner across multiple markets and activities, as well as a global player in cultural content. The first panel, on September 3rd, welcomes producers Amy Ma, Justine O., and Stefano Centini, who have all secured TICP assistance for projects, to provide advice and experiences for producers and projects wishing to collaborate with Taiwan.
On September 4th, an immersive panel will focus on combining forces and fostering abilities in technology, culture, and the arts. Dar-Kuen Wu, director of Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab’s Contemporary Art Platform, Ming-Yuan Chuan, creative director of Funique VR Studio, director of Ultra Combos, Jay Tseng, and Shane Wu from Brogent Technologies are among the speakers.