Taiwan's Government Information Office (GIO) has announced a new production subsidy for film-makers who score box-office success.
The announcement follows the phenomenal success of Wei Te-sheng's Cape No. 7 which has made over $1.6m in Taipei and an estimated $3m nationwide after three weeks on release. Interest shows no signs of waning with 45% of its gross made in the past seven days alone.
Taiwan filmmakers can qualify for the new subsidy if their movie makes more than NT$50m ($1.55m) at the nationwide box office. A sum equal to 20% of the box-office gross will be made available as a production subsidy for their next feature film.
Cape's Wei Te-sheng will be the first director to qualify under the scheme with a subsidy of at least $600,000. The director raised most of the film's $1.5m budget by himself, mortgaging his own house and taking out a government-backed $775,000 bank loan.
However, Wei's success will be difficult for other local film-makers to repeat. The Government Information Office calculates that the average box-office income of a Taiwan film is just $62,000 in a market that is dominated by Hollywood movies.
The marketing team behind Cape are currently regrouping to handle Chung Meng-hung's Parking which premiered at Cannes. The black comedy will screen locally from Nov 28 through UIP after opening the upcoming Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival.