The German filmmaker, introduced as 'the master of road movies', will executive produce the debut feature of Taipei-born and San Francisco-raised director Arvin Chen. Wenders stated that he and his director have two things in common: aSilver Bear and a love of films about cities.
Chen secured hisSilver Bear at the 2007 Berlin Film Festival for his short film Mei, which took a romantic perspective on Taiwan's nightmarket eateries. His new feature is about a young man whose girlfriend dumps him to move to Paris. He agrees to deliver a package to France for a gangster only to fall in love with another woman during an adventure-filled night in Taipei.
Originally scheduled to shoot in November, the 30-day shoot has been delayed until March 2009 as final financing of the $1.4m film is put in place. The film has secured $450,000 from the government's strategic subsidy fund and the producers are expected to make a formal application for the financial support of the newly formed Taipei Film Commission before a deadline tomorrow.
Also attending today's press conference was Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin who is also chairman of the Taipei Film Commission. He stated: 'I'm confident that when people see the film, they'll fall in love with Taipei.' Chen confirmed that he wants to present a romantic image of Taipei. The city has recently announced greater support for shooting on public property in the capital.
Wenders himself described Taipei as a 'buzzing amazing city' unlike the 'sleepy town' he visited 30 years ago when promoting his film An American Friend. He added: 'Taiwan has great locations, great actors, great crew and hopefully a guardian angel from Germany.' Wenders stated that he won't attend the shoot, noting that he personally never liked having producers on set.
First Page Taipei was first presented at the 2007 PPP projects market in Pusan. The feature is produced by Cologne and Los Angeles-based Greensky Films and Taiwan's Atom Cinema. Also attached as producers are Michelle Cho, Lee In-ah, Lui Oi-leng and Liu Wei-jen. Other than the producers, the director insisted that the entire cast and crew will originate from Taiwan.
Wenders is not the only German filmmaker flying into Taipei. Monika Treut arrives tomorrow to colour-correct her new feature, Ghosted. The HD-shot film is about a German woman visiting Taipei to get over the death of her lesbian lover. It received $310,000 from the strategic subsidy fund as well as minor financial support from the Taipei Film Commission.