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Taiwan Expands Production Incentives Scheme

The Taipei Film Commission is to make international access to its incentive scheme easier. The thresholds for access will be scrapped, and the existing subsidy system will be replaced with an investment scheme. The changes were announced today in Los Angeles, on the margins of the American Film Market.

Under current regulations, foreign directors or producers applying for funding were required to be winners of top prizes from major festivals, Academy Award winners, or to have score more than $200 million at the international box office. While that has allowed Martin Scorsese to shoot “Silence,” and Luc Besson to shoot to shoot “Lucy” in the island territory, the requirements have put TFC support out of the reach of most filmmakers.

Where previously TFC provided a cash payment, the organization now sees itself as a short-term lender. “The production team keeps the cost and marketing fee, returns the invested amount of money upon completion of the film, and (need) only return as much as the total amount of investment,” TFC said in a statement.

The upper value of the support was not specified. But the TFC said that it is offering an additional boost, also unspecified, to films that make use of Taiwanese actors in leading roles, and use Taiwanese post-production facilities for post-production, animation, or VFX.

The TFC has been operational for 10 years. It says that it has assisted the production of more than 5,000 films and TV shows, including 750 international projects. These include Ang Li’s “Life of Pi” and ABC television series “Fresh off the Boat.”

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