Gov't irked 'Seediq Bale' is credited to China

Taiwan has protested to the Venice Film Festival and demanded a correction after organizers listed producer John Woo’s “Seediq bale” as co-produced by China instead of the self-ruled island of Taiwan.

Chu Wen-ching, director of Taiwan’s Government Information Office’s motion picture affairs department, said the protest was presented by the Taipei Representative Office in Italy late last week.

“Seediq” is an epic tale portraying the Wushe Incident, a 1930 uprising by aboriginal Seediq warriors against the Japanese when Taiwan was colonized. It is among 22 films in the running for the Golden Lion this year.

With a production budget of $24 million, helmer Wei Te-sheng’s “Seediq” is the most expensive film in Taiwanese history. It stars Taiwan’s Vivian Hsu, among others.

The plan is to release the 4 1/2-hour pic in two parts in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Taiwan has been self-ruled since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, when the losing Nationalist KMT, led by Chiang Kai-shek, fled to the island.

China sees Taiwan as a renegade province to be taken back by force if necessary, but the U.S. has vowed to protect it if Beijing should try to invade.

The name issue is a regular bugbear at fests.

Last year, China pulled out of the Tokyo Film Festival after organizers refused to change the name of Taiwan’s delegation to China Taiwan or Chinese Taipei.

The Venice festival runs Aug. 31-Sept. 10.

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