Taiwan pulls films from Shanghai festival

Film commission concerned participation may turn political

HONG KONG -- Taiwan has pulled eight movies from China's leading international film festival, an official said Friday, citing concerns that festival organizers could use the occasion to assert Beijing's sovereignty over the self-ruled island.

The Taipei Film Commission withdrew the works from the Shanghai International Film Festival after noticing that organizers of a recent TV festival in the same Chinese city identified TV series from Taiwan as originating in "Taiwan, China," said Anne Lu, a publicist for the commission. The commission also canceled a planned news conference and party featuring Taiwanese filmmakers.

"We are worried that a similar situation to the TV series will recur," Lu told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

China and Taiwan split amid civil war in 1949, but Beijing still claims the island as its territory.

Ties have warmed under current Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou, who takes a more conciliatory approach toward China.

A publicist at the Shanghai International Film Festival asked a reporter to send questions by e-mail, but didn't immediately respond.

The eight films are "Monga," "Au Revoir Taipei," "Hear Me," "More Than Close," "Orz Boys," "Yang Yang," "Three Times" and "Tonight Nobody Goes Home."
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