Screen Industry Contributes $5.5 Billion to Taiwan’s Economy, Study Says

5:00 AM PST 02/25/2014 by Clifford Coonan
Cannes Film Festival
"Taipei Factory," an omnibus project that premiered at Cannes last year.

Meanwhile, the Motion Picture Association's head in APAC, Mike Ellis, met with Taiwan's vice president to discuss opportunities for further growth with the help of Hollywood.

The film and television industries contributed $5.5 billion (NT$168 billion) to the economy of self-ruled Taiwan in 2013, a report has shown, as local industry insiders called for improved market conditions for the sector to reach its full potential.

The industry also supported 113,800 jobs, and generated some $543 million (NT$16 billion) in tax revenues, according to the report, Economic Contribution of the Film and Television Industries in Taiwan, which was compiled by Oxford Economics.

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Self-ruled Taiwan separated from Mainland China after the Nationalist (KMT) forces, led by Chiang Kai-shek, fled there after defeat in the civil war in 1949. The island has produced some of the world’s great filmmakers, including Ang Lee, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Tsai Ming-liang and the late Edward Yang.

The report assessed the economic contribution of the screen entertainment sector -- from small production companies to large distribution and exhibition businesses, and from productions made for online viewing to those for network television broadcast.

It shows that each person employed in the film and television sector in 2013 generated, on average, $59,470 (NT$1.8 million), which is over 40 percent higher than the economy-wide average of $42,283 (NT$1.28 million).

Film director Chu Yen-ping (The Treasure Hunter), said the report helped illustrate the social and cultural contribution made by the screen industries to Taiwanese society and the potential for those stories to educate and entertain new audiences around the world.

“We are fortunate that creativity and modern technology are combining to provide great opportunities for growth in the digital screen sector,” said Chu. “However it is important that creative work is respected and that copyright continues to play a vital role in stimulating innovation and new storytelling.”

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Mike Ellis, president and managing director Asia Pacific for the Motion Picture Association (MPA), met Taiwan’s Vice President Wu Den-yih to discuss the economic, cultural and social contribution made by the screen community in Taiwan, and the opportunities for further growth and development.

“It is an industry abundant with local talent, drive and creativity, and promises much future success -- if creative content can be sufficiently protected,” said Ellis.

Also attending the release of the report at the Taiwan University Alumni Hall were Willy Liao of Showtime Cinemas, Akira Chen of Luminoso Film, Mindy Lee of Fox International Channels, as well as other industry representatives.

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