Taiwan set to refocus international co-pro fund toward more commercial projects

The fund provides investment for co-production projects with Taiwanese elements in the production

By Gabriella Geisinger 8 Jan 2024

Taiwan set to refocus international co-pro fund toward more commercial projects
The Settlers; Cr: Cannes

A Taiwanese international funding scheme that backed Cannes award-winners Tiger Stripes and The Settlers looks set to shift its focus to more mainstream projects as part of a rethink of the programme.

The Taiwan International Co-funding Program (TICP) was launched in January 2021 by the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) and offered international features, TV series, animation and documentaries up to 30% of a production budget with a cap of $300,000.

However, three years into the scheme, its strategy is being revised to encompass more commercial titles, include more Taiwanese elements and boost the levels of financial investment.

A statement from TAICCA, translated from Chinese, said: “In order to strengthen international joint venture opportunities and meet international investment needs, TAICCA is considering the optimization and upgrading of Taiwan’s International Co-funding Program (TICP) to attract more large-scale investment projects and promote more cooperation between Taiwan teams and the international community.”

The new version of TICP would invest in “more diverse” titles, according to the agency.

“From the original small and medium-sized non-commercial films, the programme will expand to cover commercial films, documentaries and other types of film and television works with market potential,” said the statement.

It went on to detail how productions with Taiwanese elements would see investment rise from 30% of a production budget to up to 49%. “The original investment cap was $300,000 but, in the future… there is no limit on the amount of investment in a single case… for works with a higher element concentration in Taiwan,” it added.

Previously, projects were not required to film in Taiwan providing the project contained at least one Taiwanese element in both the key category (main crew, story and language) and the production category (main cast, location and post-production).

Films funded by TICP include Tiger Stripes by Malaysia’s Amanda Nell Eu, which won the top prize when it premiered in Cannes’ Critics Week sidebar last year; and The Settlers by Chile’s Felipe Gálvez Haberle, which won the Fipresci prize when it played in Un Certain Regard at Cannes and was Chile’s Oscar submission.

Further titles supported by the programme include Jow Zhi Wei’s arthouse drama Tomorrow Is a Long Time, which debuted at the Berlinale in 2023; as well as Rachid Hami’s For My Country and The Last Queen by Damien Ounouri and Adila Bendimerad, which both premiered at Venice in 2022.

Toward the end of last year, Taiwan approved the One Plus Four - T-Content Plan, securing $311m (NT$10bn) from Taiwan’s National Development Fund (NDF) to support the creative industries. Whether this NDF program will apply to international co-productions, and what requirements will be needed, remains unclear.

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