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March 28, 2017

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Foreign filmmakers encourage production of Taiwan stories

TAIPEI--Film producers from Hollywood and Hong Kong recently visited Taipei to seek stories that can be adapted into films, and encouraged local writers and publishers to publish stories with universal themes.

"The stories that really stood out for me are the ones that are universal," Jeffrey Sharp, president of the California-based Story Mining and Supply Co. and producer of the 1999 American film "Boys Don't Cry," told CNA on the sidelines of a forum in Taipei aimed at matching filmmakers with publishers.

A total of 25 stories were presented to representatives of the TV and film industries from Taiwan and abroad at the Taipei International Book Exhibition's second Book Meet Film Forum Jan. 30, while pair-up meetings were held the following day.

Evan Hayes, president of production of the same company, also told CNA that the titles he found most intriguing were ones that were not culturally specific to Taiwan.

He mentioned the 2012 Chinese comedy "Lost in Thailand" as an example of a Chinese-language film that has strong characters and emotions to which everyone can relate.

"Lost in Thailand" is about two Chinese colleagues who go to Thailand to find their boss. It has become China's most profitable domestic film of all time.

Hayes said romance, comedy and adventure films are among the types of films that his company is looking for in Taiwan.

"Those are the kinds of films that audiences want to see more of," he said.

Barbie Tung, producer of several of Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan's films, including "Chinese Zodiac" and "New Police Story," told reporters that she is looking for mystery films and films with a modern theme.

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