The New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC) and Taipei Film Commission (TFC) have launched a Professional Screenwriters Exchange.
Under the exchange one professional screenwriter from Taiwan will travel to New Zealand and one professional screenwriter from New Zealand will travel to Taiwan, for at least a month, in order to strengthen cultural ties and promote greater cooperation between the film industries of both sides.
The exchange is intended to occur on an annual basis and is aimed at applicants who have experience writing a minimum of one feature film script that has been produced as a feature-length film, and have direct personal experience of or a strong interest in Māori culture and/or the Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan.
Information on the application process will be published jointly by the NZFC and TFC by late 2018.
The initiative was announced in Taipei on Friday 22 June at the New Zealand Film Night, held as part of the inaugural Matariki Festival hosted by the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office. The event was attended by a delegation of 14 filmmakers and industry executives from New Zealand and over 150 guests, including acclaimed Māori and Indigenous Taiwanese filmmakers and other leading lights from both the New Zealand and Taiwan screen sectors.
NZFC CEO Annabelle Sheehan said, “Taiwan and New Zealand have world-class filmmakers, and there is great potential for increased collaboration. In particular, the strong ancestral connection between Māori and the Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan is truly unique and a rich source of inspiration to many creatives.”
Chung Yung-feng, Commissioner of Taipei City Government’s Department of Cultural Affairs, which oversees TFC, said, “We welcome the delegation of New Zealand filmmakers led by NZFC, and have no doubt that this initiative will directly lead to outstanding Taiwan-New Zealand co-productions under the world-first official co-production agreement linking the two industries, signed in 2013.”