Taiwan's Government Information Office (GIO) is gearing up for a re-launch of its website Taiwancinema.com as the definitive guide to the local film industry in a bid to further promote Taiwan-made films in the international market.

The re-launch is scheduled on 7 January 2004, by which the Chinese-language website will be redesigned with a fresh new look and a host of brand new sections of content. More importantly, a much-needed English version will be added, giving foreign users better access to the site.

The new and improved website will contain information on all facets of Taiwan's film industry from films, cast and crew to production companies. A search engine will also be incorporated, enabling users to seek out the site's various listings on Taiwan films.

To lend support to up-and-coming directors, a new section will be created to showcase the works and personal profiles of new directors. Apart from feature films, the new website will also offer information on local documentaries and animations.

According to GIO Motion Picture Department's Jonathan Chen, the main objective for the re-launch is to make Taiwancinema.com into an essential site for anyone who wants to get to know the Taiwan's film industry.

Taiwancinema.com has gone online since July 2002. 'The re-launch is deemed necessary for Taiwan films to have a wider international market. It is also hoped that the improved website will encourage more foreign investment and on location shooting in Taiwan,' says Chen.

GIO is also in negotiations with countries such as France and Korea to create links to their important film websites.