Spotlight on Taiwan

The Asian country boasts skilled production crew, attractive locations and enticing financial incentives 

By Chris Evans 22 Nov 2021

Spotlight on Taiwan

Taiwan has a long tradition of filmmaking, a variety of incredible locations and a 30% cash rebate, which are helping draw international productions in.

France based director Rachid Hami is intending to shoot his latest feature For the Country in Taiwan, as are Daniel and Matthew Wolfe with their UK thriller Sapphire, although filming for both was put on hold due to a flare in Covid case numbers earlier this year.

Sony label Affirm Films’ romantic drama Sun Moon is expected to shoot on location at Sun Moon lake in the foothills of Taiwan’s Central Mountain Range from February having also been delayed because of Covid. Directed by Sydney Tooley and starring Jason Burkey (Walking Dead) and Mackenzie Mauzy (Into the Woods), Sun Moon tells the story of a young woman left at the altar who retreats to Taiwan on a quest for hope and healing.

“We’re currently waiting to get permission to bring in a Sony Pictures crew to complete Sun Moon,” says Luke Cameron, director and DP at Stone Soup Production, who are acting as producers in Taiwan, finding local cast and crew and assisting with locations.

Stone Soup is also co-producing a horror film called Battle of the Dead with a leading Canadian production outfit, which is in pre-production and planned to go into production in Taiwan at the end of 2022.

Scott Weatherall will direct the film, which is an “east meets west action/thriller zombie flick”, according to Cameron, with shooting set to take place in Taipei, Kaohsiung and Kenting in Taiwan.

“We are trying to get the Taipei Film Commission involved, but having to wait until their next funding round, which happens in the first quarter of 2022,” adds Cameron.

Pre Covid, Austria-based Chinese filmmaker CB Yi’s Austria-France-Taiwan-Belgium co-production, Moneyboys, filmed entirely in Taiwan and accessed the local incentive.

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Alternative locations

Taiwan can pretty much double for anywhere thanks to its multiple climates and incredible range of locations. You could double the pine forests of Alishan for North America, the beaches could double for anywhere from Thailand to Costa Rica and some city areas could double for New York or Toronto if shot correctly. 

Highlight: Kaohsiung

The underrated alternative to Taipei, Kaohsiung is a modern coastal city, combing sky-rise buildings, beaches with night markets and Buddhist temples.

Luke Cameron, director and DP, Stone Soup Production, co-producers of Battle of the Dead “In Kaohsiung there are some very cool looking temples we might use as the exterior of our main temple scenes (the interior of that temple is being built in a studio) and we have some beach scenes.” 

Just two hours away there’s also Kenting National Park, ‘Asia’s equivalent of the Maldives’ with stunning beaches.

This feature is a condensed version of the Taiwan profile set to appear in our next issue of the Production Guide, which comes out at the end of this year.

UK drama Sapphire to double Taiwan for China

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