TCCF Day One Highlights: Taiwan Government Funding; Japan’s Kadokawa Plots Global Expansion; Korea’s CJ ENM Pacts With TAICCA

Taiwan Creative Content Fest kicked off in Taipei today with organizer, Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA), emphasizing its soft power ambitions and growing international cooperation activities, in particular with France, South Korea and Japan.

Taiwan’s Minister of Culture, Shih Che, took to the stage at the opening ceremony to talk about Taiwan’s recently approved ‘One Plus Four – T-Content Plan’ which has pledged $311M (NT$10BN) to support the creative industries.

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“We’ve achieved a milestone this year – after support for semiconductor and technology industries, it’s finally the turn of the cultural content industries, with support that has been enacted through our laws and regulations,” said Shih.

“We have talent and culture in abundance in Taiwan and we’re one of the very important entry points to Mandarin-language culture. In the digital realm, we play an important role and influence on cultural content in the international arena.”

TAICCA’s funding programs, which have been rolled out steadily since the agency’s launch in 2019, are helping to position Taiwan as an international content production hub. While some of the government funding has been earmarked for Taiwanese films and drama series, some is available to international producers who collaborate with Taiwanese companies through funds including Taiwan’s International Co-funding Program (TICP).

TAICCA is also in the process of signing a flurry of MOUs with international content agencies and private companies, with an initial focus on France – with which Taiwan has long-standing cultural links – as well as the mature and democratic North Asian markets of South Korea and Japan.

Dominique Boutonnat, president of France’s National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image (CNC), also attended TCCF’s opening ceremony, ahead of the signing of an official cooperation agreement between CNC and TAICCA later in the week.

“We already have numerous exchanges with Taiwan in series and TV production, Series Mania festival and co-productions, like [Algerian-French historical action film] The Last Queen, which was co-funded by TAICCA,” said Boutonnat, adding that Taiwan and France share common values in the political, industrial and commercial arenas.

Later in the day, Takeshi Natsuno, CEO of Japan’s Kadokawa Corporation explained in a lively keynote speech about how Taiwan has been a jumping off point for the company’s international ambitions. TAICCA signed an MOU with Kadokawa last month.

“Our globalisation started from here in Taiwan and already 20% of our revenue is coming from outside Japan,” Natsuno said. “We want to increase that to 40% because there is demand for animation and content all over the world.”

Adding that Kadokawa also has operations in the U.S., Malaysia and Thailand, Natsuno said: “At this moment, 95% of our content comes from Japan and is exported all over the world, but my goal in ten years is to make that 50% from Japan and 50% from other markets that is being distributed worldwide.”

Starting out as a manga publisher in the 1940s, Kadokawa now holds a huge store of IP that it exploits across film and TV production, games, education and streaming services, including the NicoNico platform operated jointly with Dwango. Berating his home country for lacking innovation, Natsuno said: “I envy you Taiwan content industry – you have so much support from your government, we only have support for boring things, not anime and manga.”

Also on the first day of the event, TAICCA signed a memorandum of understanding with CJ ENM Hong Kong, the regional office of Korean studio CJ ENM, Taiwanese telco Far EasTone and broadcaster TVBS to discuss the launch of a multi-year content fund to co-produce and jointly distribute content.

In a statement, the partners said the fund “will focus on identifying and funding promising projects. It will also provide financial support, mentorship, and valuable industry connections aiming to produce more interesting content with the unique exchange of cultural backgrounds.”

TCCF is taking place at Songshan Culture and Creative Park, a converted tobacco factory, that is housing a contents market, pitching events, seminars and an exhibition of immersive artworks and installations.

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