The most prominent are 2013 hits “So Young” and “A Wedding Invitation,” but many of last year’s most popular films failed to win a place.
The successful titles were announced by the Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development (BAMID, a unit of the Ministry of Culture.
Under the current system, Taiwanese distributors make applications for releasing slots. Titles are then selected at random, via a lottery. This year distributors submitted 33 applications for the ten slots.
Under a previous system, distributors were required to queue in front of the old Government Information Office ahead of a Jan. 1 deadline.
Relations between China and the island territory, which struck out on its own nearly 65 years ago, can be politically tense, though economic and business relations have become more commonplace.
Under a high-level agreement struck in June last year Taiwan agreed to expand the quota from 10 to 15. But the legislation has not yet been ratified by Taiwan’s parliament. BAMID says that when the deal is ratified it will “randomly draw a further five titles from the current pool of applications.”
The other films selected for 2014 release include romances “The Whole Life” (aka “With Or Without”, ( 一生一世) and “Pickles in Love” (aka “Kimchi,” 泡菜), animated feature “Seer The Movie 3: Heroes Alliance” (賽爾號大電影3), family title “Red Reeds” (一江明燭), comedy “Fake Fiction” (摩登年代), and dramas “The Falling Feather” (飄落的羽毛), “The Palace” (宮鎖沉香), and “Today and Tomorrow” (今天明天).
Big films that missed out include 2013 hits “Personal Tailor,” “No Man’s Land,” “Finding Mr Right,” “Police Story 2013,” as well as upcoming Chinese titles “Return” by Zhang Yimou and “The Golden Age” by Ann Hui.
There seems little chance in the near future that Taiwan will abolish its quota system. Some distributors fear that China’s emergence as a film superpower means that its movies may crowd out local Taiwanese titles. Others feel that releasing more popular Chinese-language titles would give a boost to the overall box office.
China does not operate a quota for Taiwanese films and a small, but growing number are being released.