Winners Party for the Ninth "Filming Taipei" Screenplay Competition
Winners Party for the Ninth "Filming Taipei" Screenplay Competition - Taipei Film Commission
Participants of the ninth "Filming Taipei" Winners Party. Front row from left: winners Liao Chih-Chien, Bon AN, Huang Luo-Yao, and Hsu Shao-wen; back row from left: winner You Shann-jiun, jury Tsai Tsung-han, jury Yuan Chiung-chiung, and Taipei Film Commission Director Jennifer Jao.
Winners of the ninth "Filming Taipei" Screenplay Competition was announced on October 5. In an attempt to support the winners and facilitate subsequent adaptation of the winning screenplays, Taipei Film Commission organized a "Winners Party" in the afternoon of November 3 at SongYan Gallery, where jury Yuan Chiung-chiung and Tsai Tsung-han were invited to present certificates of merit to the five winning authors, namely Bon AN, You Shann-jiun , Hsu Shao-wen, Huang Luo-Yao and Liao Chih-Chien, and to engage them up close in an exchange of opinions regarding screenwriting and their works.
Taipei Film Commission Director Jennifer Jao first congratulated the five winners who were present at the event. She recalled that when the commission was first founded in 2008, a lot of thought was put into finding ways to breathe life into Taiwan's withering film industry. After a discussion with Shi Nan Sun, a renowned producer from Hong Kong, she decided to organize a film screenplay competition as a means to discover screenwriting talents and strengthen the foundation of Taiwan's film industry. The film screenplay competition was initially named "Filming All the Way" when it first launched in September 2008, and was later renamed "Filming Taipei" from 2011 (the third year) onwards. Now in its ninth year, the competition receives nearly 100 entries as compared to the 56 entries in the first year.
Director Jao emphasized that "Filming Taipei" adopts a different strategy from other government-organized competitions of similar nature; what "Filming Taipei" aims to accomplish is actually a "streamlined" filmmaking process. "The event is all about selecting film screenplays that can be executed and produced into films. The first year's winning screenplay - When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep was a typical example, as it was later directed by Hou Chi-jan into an actual film." She also shared with the winners news of Taipei City's latest "Regulations Governing Production Assistance, Subsidy and Investment of Video Productions (unofficial)," and said that this would be the turning point for Taiwan's film industry. Previously, filmmakers used to rely on government subsidies, and now with investment budget from Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs, creators have better chances of seeing their screenplays made into films. The talent and creations of the winners may perhaps create new possibilities for Taiwan's film industry. She also reminded authors to seek protection for their works, welcomed them to contact Taipei Film Commission for assistance on issues concerning copyrights and contracts.
Taipei Film Commission Director Jennifer Jao (left) presenting certificate of merit to Bon AN, Golden Screenplay Award-winning author of Empty
Jury Yuan Chiung-chiung (right) presenting certificate of merit to You Shann-jiun , Silver Screenplay Award-winning author of Touch
Jury Tsai Tsung-han (left) presenting certificate of merit to Hsu Shao-wen, Bronze Screenplay Award-winning co-author of The Destination; the other co-author Huang Chien-yun was absent due to personal reasons.
Jury Tsai Tsung-han (left) presenting certificate of merit to Huang Luo-Yao, Bronze Screenplay Award-winning author of Strawberry Generation
Jury Tsai Tsung-han (left) presenting certificate of merit to Liao Chih-Chien, Bronze Screenplay Award-winning author of Cold Day
Screenwriter and veteran writer Yuan Chiung-chiung, who was one of the jury members for the ninth "Filming Taipei," recalled that her family was shocked to see two suitcases full of screenplays being mailed to her home several months ago, and she congratulated the winners for standing out from the competition. When reviewing the screenplays, Yuan Chiung-chiung was most impressed by the maturity and diversity of stories submitted for this year's competition. She encouraged the winners to try making films out of their screenplays, or even seek endorsement from a renowned director. The other jury member Tsai Tsung-han was recently nominated in the Golden Horse Awards for his short film - Love After Time. He said to the winners that although having a screenplay made into film is no easy tasks, it may not be as difficult as one would imagine, as long as you keep trying to make things happen.
The two jury members then offered their individual opinions to the winners, and the winners engaged themselves in active discussion about each other's works. This year's first prize was awarded to Bon AN's Empty. Having previously written and directed feature-length and short films including Black Sheep, Unspoken Affection (unofficial) and Sen Sen, this new creation by Bon AN tells the story of people trying to outrun troubles or fill their "emptiness." He hopes to have a chance to make a film out of his favorite screenplay in the future. You Shann-jiun, who won the second prize with Touch, was already a frequent winner of local literature awards, and had experience in detective fictions. His new screenplay was based on the theme of "encounter" and he was glad to have his ideas appreciated by the jury.
One of the third prize was awarded Huang Luo-Yao's Strawberry Generation. Having already worked as a theater screenwriter/director, Huang Luo-Yao wanted to express her helplessness in regards to the new generation and the environment through her screenplay, and a win in this competition has been a great step forward in her career. The third prize was also awarded to The Destination by co-author Hsu Shao-wen, who started his career from the screenplay course organized by the Institute for Information Industry and now works as a full-time screenwriter. The screenplay that he and the other co-author - Huang Chien-yun had created was intended to convey the message that "everyone has their own purpose." Liao Chih-Chien, the other third prize winner of this competition, won the title for Cold Day as a novelist. His screenplay was intended to encourage everyone to find their passion in a city (Taipei) that has become colder and colder. He said that it is the screenwriter's responsibility to share stories with the audience, and only the stories that arouse people's emotions have the potential to be made into film and shared with more people on the big screen.
The winners listening to jury's opinions and experience.
The winners observing and discussing each other's works. The Destination co-author Hsu Shao-wen (left) and Empty author Bon AN (right).