Eight Taiwanese films pulled from the showcase of 13th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF, June 12 – June 20) as a side-bar activity Taipei Film Week was cancelled.
The Taipei Film Commission, organizer of the Taipei Film Wee,k confirmed that it has cancelled all the activities of the event, including the screenings, a press conference, and a red-carpet premiere of the films and post-screening party. There is no official comment from the organiser of the Shanghai International Film Festival while several staff has confirmed the cancellation and in festival’s programme, information on the Taipei Film Week is now removed.
The eight films were Niu Cheng-tse’s gangland drama Monga, Arvin Chen’s Au revoir Taipei, romantic drama Hear Me, Cheng Hsiao-tse’s More Than Close, and several older films Orz Boys, Yang Yang, Three Times, and Tonight Nobody Goes Home.
Although no official comment was made about the reason of the cancellation, it is understood that the main reason is the disagreement on the origin of Taiwanese TV programs and Taiwanese films. On June 7, two Taiwanese TV dramas competing at the Shanghai TV Festival were listed as originating from “Taiwan, China.” The labeling is seen controversial in Taiwan and was widely reported by Taiwanese newspapers, causing concerns from Taiwan’s Government Information Office (GIO), Taiwan’s governmental unit on film and TV policies.
After the negotiation on the naming broke between The Taipei Film Commission and SIFF, The Commission decided to cancel the event.
Many of the eight films, such as Monga, Au revoir Taipei and More than Close originally planned to have their mainland China premiere with the intention to meet with mainland buyers for possible theatrical release in the mainland market.
The promotional activity of the film Black & White, a Taiwan-China co-production is also affected with its leading actor Mark Zhao not attending SIFF. The film is scheduled to start shooting in July and was planned to meet the mainland press during SIFF.