The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia (TECO) is very surprised and regretful to hear that the distributing company of the film entitled "Miao Miao", namely Fortissimo Films, which is based in Hong Kong, has decided to withdraw the screening of "Miao Miao", by Taiwanese director Heng Hsiao-Tse.Hilariously, the Hong Kong firm denied that it had pulled the film as part of Beijing's toddler outburst, instead claiming that the festival had "a weird ambiance" and had become "politicized." The GIO said it may demand its funding for the project back.
The withdrawal is due to the recent boycott made by the authorities of the Chinese People’s Republic which controls Hong Kong, against the Melbourne International Film Festival. This has nothing to do with Taiwan which is in support of the continuous participation of the film and the freedom of expression and human rights.
Meanwhile, the Chinese political attack on the film festival was a resounding success, as this advertisement says:
MORE TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR 10 CONDITIONS OF LOVETickets have already sold out, demand is overwhelming. Another brilliant policy success for Beijing and all Chinese people! I hope Taiwanese artists and others involved in collaboration with Chinese observe that their work will always be nothing more than a pawn in Beijing's political strategies. The festival director discusses Chinese pressure here, while the director of the film about Kadeer had some pertinent remarks:
Posted 5th August, 2009
Due to overwhelming demand MIFF has decided to relocate the screening of 10 Conditions of Love the documentary about Rebiya Kadeer to a larger venue and to place more tickets on sale.
The film will now screen at the Melbourne Town Hall on Saturday 8th August at 4:45 pm.
THE FILM WILL BE INTRODUCED BY SENATOR BOB BROWN AND MICHAEL DANBY
REBIYA KADEER will be in attendance and will be available to answer questions following the screening.
The film's director Jeff Daniels says he is concerned about the fact Victoria police will be putting on extra security for the screening.The really wacky thing this week was AFP's reporting. I posted earlier that AFP had erroneously reported that TECO had joined the boycott with Beijing. AFAIK, no other news organization had reported this (please forward link if anyone knows of one). No biggie, errors are not uncommon, especially where Taipei, Hong Kong, and Beijing can be mixed up. Five days later, today their headline screams:
"I personally find it appalling that the Chinese Government has put the film festival and film-goers in a position where they need a police escort and private security to see a film," he said.
"I think Melbourne is getting a small taste of the position that the Chinese Government has put Rebiya Kadeer and her family and the Uighur population in for the past 60 years."
Taiwan denies boycotting Melbourne film fest
"Denies" as in Senator Denies Affair With Intern or Company Denies Illegal Waste Dumping. The use of "deny" in a newspaper article generally signals that a credible accusation was made, not that the paper had made an ordinary error in the course of reporting. AFP should have simply published a correction with an "AFP regrets the error" note.
I wonder if this would work for other types of news stories -- like if the Taipei Times does a story on me and says I am 62 years old, instead of an error correction, they could just write Turton Denies He Is 62...
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