Taiwanese Creators Have Found Inspiration From COVID-19, Says Veteran Producer

Vivienne Chow
·2-min read

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has inspired young creators to become more daring and to look for stories that are more relatable on a personal level as a response to global crisis, said one of the guest instructors of the Golden Horse FPP workshop.

Yeh Jufeng (“The Great Buddha+,” “A Sun”), chief executive producer of Mandarin Vision, said FPP has been showcasing a great variety of Chinese language projects from all over the world over the years, but because of the pandemic, projects taking part in FPP this year came mainly from Taiwan, Malaysia and Hong Kong only. However, these creators have demonstrated their passion for filmmaking through their projects, she said. This is the fifth time for the veteran filmmaker to be a guest instructor at the FPP workshop.

“The connection between the pandemic and human life has inspired creators to look for stories around their real-life situation. They are more daring too. Perhaps it is a response to the crisis that they have realized that if they didn’t do it now, they won’t know what would happen next,” Yeh told Variety. “Paying attention to the changes in the world is one of the basic qualities that filmmakers should possess.”

The Golden Horse FPP concluded on Wednesday with the awards ceremony, presenting the grand prize to “SARStorm,” to be directed by Golden Bell Awards-winning director Lin Chun-yan and “Detention” producer Aileen Li.

On the future of Taiwan’s filmmaking and content creation, Yeh said the island’s strength lies in being the freest place for creators in the Asian region. The abundance of OTT platforms might offer more opportunities to creators, but they might negatively impact the creation of films, she cautioned.

“We must continue to develop original stories. We see a lot of new directors and producers emerging in Taiwan, and we see a great diversity of stories,” Yeh said. “The greatest challenge right now is to maintain our passion and produce more Taiwan films amid the pandemic.”

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