Bole Film Production Firm launched by Taiwan Exhibitors

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Taiwan’s four top cinema exhibition chains have joined forces to launch new feature movie production company Bole Film. The company aims to bring between three and five new films per year to market.

Bole is backed by VieShow Cinemas, Showtime Cinemas, Ambassador Theatres, and Shin Kong Cinemas, with the support of Taiwanese Creative Content Agency (TAICCA)’s National Development Fund. Singapore-based mm2 Entertainment is also part of the mix, aiming to fund film investments and tap international market opportunities.

Bole will operate by providing development funding of up to NT$2million ($70,100) per project brought to it by independent producers, while also working on a business plan. Bole may then provide up to NT$10million ($350,000) of production funding per film. Mm2 Entertainment is to provide 10% of Bole’s production investment.

Leading the new company’s slate is “In Justice,” an adaptation of a best-selling novel by Neil Wu. It is being produced by Activator Marketing, the company behind last year’s’ indie hit “I WeirDo.”

Also on the list is an untitled mystery thriller by producer Chen Wei-hao (“The Tag-along,” “The Soul”) to be directed by Chen I-Fu (TV’s “The Long Night”); a film adaptation of public television hit series “U Motherbaker”; an untitled romance by Chen Wei-hao; and “Salli,” a U.K.-Taiwan co-production about online scams, that was winner of the 2019 Golden Horse Film Project.

The companies say that they aim to attract (local and foreign investment into Taiwanese film and television content, connect (Taiwanese) creators with foreign OTT platforms and distribution channels through partnership agreements, and enhance the international visibility of Taiwanese content.

They believe that they have particular insight into successful content as their turnstiles account for some 70% of Taiwan box office revenue. The company name is a reference to a famous racing horse trainer who is reputed to have been particularly good at picking winning bloodstock.

Taiwanese films and TV production have been able to make advances in the last couple of years. The island has been able to attract several mandarin-language productions commissioned by regional pay-TV and streaming companies. It was also able to keep cinemas open and the production sector operating through 202’s COVID-19 crisis.

“Bole Film will provide valuable consumer insights to filmmakers, so they can create better quality content that matches well with what consumers want to watch. And our project management services will migrate the risks associated with film investment, thereby increasing the profitability of Taiwanese films. This will hopefully attract more investors to be interested in funding the Taiwanese film and television industry,” said Bole chairman Dennis Wu.

The company launch was announced Monday at a press conference that also involved Taiwanese Minister of Culture Li Yong-de, legislators Lai Pin-Yu, and Michelle Lin Chu-yin.

“The [Taiwanese] Ministry of Culture’s objective is to direct funding to promote our film and television industries. I am overjoyed that TAICCA and the four cinema chains have come together to invest in Taiwanese content. This is just the beginning,” said Li.