Taiwan's Top Cinema Chains Unite to Launch Production Company

Taipei skyline
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Taipei, Taiwan

The new outfit, Bole Film, will aim to finance and produce three to five films per year, helping Taiwanese directors expand their global reach.

Taiwan's four largest movie theater chain companies are joining forces to get into the production business. The companies have united to form Bole Film, through which they plan to produce three to five theatrical films per year.

Bole Film is a joint venture between VieShow Cinemas, Showtime Cinemas, Ambassador Theatres and Shin Kong Cinemas, with additional financial support from the Taiwanese Creative Content Agency's National Development Fund. Singaporean film company mm2 Entertainment also has established a relationship with the startup company to provide production financing and international market expertise.

The partners said Bole Film's business model is designed to drive domestic and foreign investment towards Taiwanese film and television content, connect local creators with foreign streaming platforms and distribution channels, and enhance the international visibility of Taiwanese storytelling.

Bole Film will solicit pitches from independent producers, providing up to 2 million Taiwanese dollars ($70,100) per selected project. Bole can then opt to supply up to 10 million Taiwanese dollars ($350,000) in production funding per film. Mm2 Entertainment has agreed to invest an additional 10 percent of the production budget for Bole's projects.

The cinema operators united in Bole control over 70 percent of Taiwan's total annual box office, so the partners say their goal for the studio is to pool their sales data to conduct big data statistical analysis to develop movie themes that meet market demand.

Bole has unveiled a starter slate that includes In Justice, an adaptation of a best-selling novel by Neil Wu, which will be produced by Activator Marketing, the company behind the 2020 romantic hit I WeirDo. Other launch projects include Salli, a British and Taiwanese co-production about online scams in Taiwan that won the 2019 Golden Horse Film Project; an untitled mystery thriller produced by Chen Wei-hao (The Tag-along) and directed by Chen I-Fu (The Long Night); U Motherbaker, a big-screen adaptation of the hit Taiwanese TV series from the 1990s; and an untitled romance by Chen Wei-hao.

Said Dennis Wu, Bole's founding chairman: "The establishment of Bole Film will provide valuable consumer insights to filmmakers, so they can create better quality content that matches well with what consumers want to watch. And our project management services will migrate the risks associated with film investment, thereby increasing the profitability of Taiwanese films. This will hopefully attract more investors to be interested in funding the Taiwanese film and television industry."