More Taiwan films to make it to mainland screens

Updated: 2011-07-20 07:56

By Liu Wei (China Daily)

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 More Taiwan films to make it to mainland screens

The comedy Night Market Hero centers on Taiwan's night market culture. Provided to China Daily

A Taiwan comedy is now being screened on the Chinese mainland, benefiting from a major trade pact signed last year.

Night Market Hero is the first Taiwan film to be screened in the mainland after the two sides signed the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) to promote a freer flow of goods and services.

The agreement removes restrictions on the number of Taiwan films that can be released in mainland theaters, subject to the censors.

Before the ECFA, Taiwanese films were included in the quota of 20 films allowed to enter the mainland market from outside. Over the past decade, only three Taiwanese films made it.

Hero deals with the lives of a group of night market food vendors. Taiwan's night markets, boasting a great variety of local food, are a must-see for tourists, including those from the mainland.

The Chinese government recently allowed residents of Beijing, Shanghai and Fujian province's Xiamen city to travel to Taiwan individually. People from other cities still have to travel in groups, and follow the guided tour routes arranged by selected travel agencies.

"I believe people who have not had the chance to come to Taiwan will be keen to see the film first," 36-year-old director Yeh Tien-lun says.

"Night Market Hero is almost like a promo of Taiwan's night market culture. I hope the cuisine and Taiwan people's hospitality can be seen by more viewers."

The film grossed $4.9 million at the box office in Taiwan earlier this year. While this number is not considered high in the mainland market, where last year's box office champion, Jiang Wen's Let the Bullets Fly, raked in about $100 million, it is seen as an amazing performance in Taiwan.

The highest-grossing Taiwan film on the mainland in a decade was Cape No 7, a love story that brought in about $4.6 million.

But Yeh is not too concerned with the film's box office takings. He says he is more excited about the fact it can be shown on the mainland.

"This film captures how ordinary people live with dignity and optimism, which I believe both the mainlanders and Taiwan residents can relate to," he says.

"Hopefully, this film will help people on both sides better understand one another."

China Daily

(China Daily 07/20/2011 page18)


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