November 24, 2023
2023 TCCF Closes at High Point Extended content trade worldwide is expected to reach new records

2023 Taiwan Creative Content Fest (TCCF), a key content industry event in Asia, closed successfully on November 12th after six days. Over 20,000 professionals attend, and extended trade is expected to reach new records with over 2,000 business meetings. Unprecedented attendance from international visitors elevates TCCF as an essential occasion in Asia

TCCF this year scaled up with impressive PITCHING, MARKET, and INNOVATIONS sections. It offered international funding opportunities, license trades, production assistance, and post-production resources to promising IPs around the world. All sections reported the highest attendance to date, attracting 241 international professionals and buyers from 29 countries and regions, including France, Japan, Korea, the United States, and Singapore. Over 100 local and international companies gathered for business at this crowded event.

On the first day, the organizer Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TCCF) held an opening ceremony at the Taipei New Horizon building. It was attended by Vice Premier Wen-Tsan Cheng, Minister without Portfolio Wan-I Lin, Minister of Culture Che Shih, TAICCA Chairperson Homme Tsai, TAICCA CEO Chun-Wei Lu, France’s National Film Board President Dominique Boutonnat, Bureau Français de Taipei Director Franck Paris, Chunghwa Telecom Chairman Shui-Yi Kuo, and many local and international television companies.

“Culture is soft power and the soul of a country. Culture is also the name card that Taiwan presents to the world.” —— Vice Premier Cheng Wen-tsan

Taiwan enjoyed cultural diversity, freedom, and openness, said Vice Premier 

Cheng Wen-Tsan. Stories grown from this land were both local and global, so they should be explored and represented in various Ips. More creators could be supported through TCCF, a key platform for cultural content in Asia.

After Minister of Culture Shih Che took office, cultural budgets had increased by 30%. He said unequivocally that elevating Taiwanese content and cultural confidence is the priority. “It’s time to invest in Taiwan,” Shih mentioned. “Creators are free the most in Taiwan. With support from the administrative and legislative branches, the Development of the Cultural and Creative Industries Act was passed this year. Just like semiconductors and biotechnology, investments in cultural and creative industries will receive tax benefits. Cultural and creative industries are officially designated as a ‘national strategic industry’. The Kuroshio program will devote NT$10 billion to six aspects of art and culture over the next four years.” At TCCF, the world could see capabilities and self-confidence in Taiwanese cultural content.

“In the digital world, Taiwan is certainly not a small country. When we build up cultural content, it's a defense to our cultural territory.” —— Shih Che, Minister of Culture

After the long pandemic, TCCF was larger this year than ever. With the first international open call, the PITCHING section received 539 submissions from 29 countries/regions. On the award ceremony day, TAICCA and CNC announced one more TAICCA X CNC AWARD. In total, 30 awards were presented with over NT$6 million cash prizes to encourage creators worldwide. Under the Kuroshio program by the Ministry of Culture, said TAICCA Chairperson Homme Tsai, it’s time to invest in Taiwan, and TCCF aspired to be the optimal platform for Asian talent and content.

Strategic cooperation between France and Taiwan shares our passion for creativity, said CNC President Dominique Boutonnat. Successful models by TAICCA were independent and ambitious, which were shared by CNC. Taiwan and France both embraced freedom. Virtuous collaborations create more opportunities for cultural and creative industries on both sides.

Under the ICC Immersion Taiwan program, the France pavilion organized the “Discover French Excellence and Innovations in Creative and Cultural Industries” event. It introduced nine attending French companies, from visual art, music, VR/XR, and museum studies, to industries and potential partners in Taiwan. At TCCF, Taiwan and France enhanced exchanges and facilitated business opportunities.

After the Snowmelt and Mother Maybe won major prizes at 2023 TCCF PITCHIN

The PITCHING section had the first international open call with multiple cash prizes. As a result, it received 539 submissions. Many local and international partners offered awards this year, including FarEastTone, Taiwan Mobile, Fubon Cultural and Educational Foundation, Series Mania (France), Udine Far East Film Festival (Italy), Motion Picture Association (USA), Asia TV Forum & Market (Singapore), Muse Communication, Gamania, iMOON Entertainment, Warner Bros. Discovery, local governments, and TV channels. TCCF also set up fast tracks for award winners to international pitch events, such as Docs by the Sea, Udine Far East Film Festival, Series Mania, Global Film & Television Immersion Program, and CCDF, to bring more outstanding audiovisual projects to reality.

With great quality among selected projects worldwide, TAICCA and CNC decided to give two, rather than one, TAICCA X CNC AWARD at the ceremony to After the Snowmelt (a Taiwan-Japan documentary project) and Mother Maybe (a feature film project from the Philippines) with US$30,000 cash prizes each. In total, 30 awards were presented with over NT$6 million for more incredible projects.

Major awards at Project to Screen sessions

After the Snowmelt is the first documentary feature by Taiwanese director Lo Yi-shan. It is inspired by a deadly mountaineering accident in Nepal of her close friend. After many years, she revisits the route as a conversation with herself. “This award arrives unexpectedly,” said Lo. “This is the first documentary pitch session at TCCF, and I am glad to be selected. Documentary projects in Taiwan rarely have the opportunity to pitch internationally. TCCF offers this occasion to documentary and other genres. It’s a major boost for documentary workers to speak to the world.”

Another winner is Mother Maybe, a fantasy horror from the Philippines that incorporates local legends. It explores the search for family and self, and it also won the MPA Grand Prize and Taichung Development Award. “I feel emotional, as we never expect to win,” said Mother Mayber producer Arden Rod Condez. “It’s our first pitch and our first time in Taiwan. I am excited that Mother Maybe resonates with so many people.”

International jury members praised strong emotions in After the Snowmelt that viewers followed the camera on this journey. It also brought jury members to tears during the pitch. Mother Maybe integrated myths, personal stories, and familyhood in Southeast Asia. It was selected for a complete story and great pitching skills.

The debut feature film project 《Appetite for Desire》 by director Peter Ho was also widely recognized. It won the Taipei International Audiovisual Award (NT$300,000), the Deepwater Award (NT$150,000), and the MIFFEST Award with US$30,000 for postproduction services in Indonesia. “TCCF is a great platform to meet like-minded partners and present the project to more people,” said Ho. “It’s my first feature film, so I learned a lot from experienced professionals in their feedback on this occasion.”

Series project 《Maid of Vengeance》 by director David Chuang (The Victims' Game) won the Chunghwa Telecom Award and Series Mania Award. “I would like to thank TAICCA, Chunghwa Telecom, and Series Mania for their support. The creative team puts a lot of enthusiasm into these characters. I am happy to attend TCCF and connect with so many people in this story. We will cherish these recognitions to complete our project.”

Major awards at Story to Screen sessions

At Story to Screen sessions, 《Second Woman》 won the major FriDay Original Story Award and TVBS Story Impact Award. “The creative process is lonely,” said the writer Joanne Deng. “It takes a team to increase the visibility that I am grateful to.” The jury highlighted diversity in the selected works, from history, sci-fi, romance, espionage, and detective, to suspense, and looked forward to their audiovisual outcomes.

TCCF AWARD: Best Story chose three titles. The first school murder case inspires 《A Sketch in Scarlet》 in Taiwan. “It’s exciting to present this story to more international production houses, game studios, and readers,” said Mysterystring Copyright Manager Li Jie.

《Peenky Promise》 is a new LINE WEBTOON title by HOM. It talks about how the online world represents conflicts in life and desire. LINE WEBTOON has over 100 titles in its portfolio and is prepared to work with other cultural industries.

《A TRIP TO THE ASYLUM: The World is a Madhouse》 has won Comics of the Year at the 2021 Golden Comics Award. “This is the first comic on mental disorder in Taiwan,” said The Grayhawk Agency’s Tzung Yu Jade Fu. “Stories as such can inform more people about how these patients think and feel.”

Over 100 exhibitors and 241 international buyers from 29 countries at MARKET

After the pandemic subsided, the MARKET section welcomed more exhibitors than ever. With over 100 local and international entities, many international buyers flew to Taiwan for business, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Warner Bros. Discovery, CJ ENM, Fuji Television, Rakuten TV, Astro, and Mediacorp.

The section was very popular with many flagship series and variety shows. Many films and series also unveiled their first posters at their booths. Examples include 《同棲散策》 starring Jerry Yen and Ariel Lin, and Living by producer Ruby Lin, writer Ryan Tu, director Chao-jen Hsu, and Chih-ju Lin.

New booths this year include national pavilions (France, Korea, and Japan), production assistance, and innovative technologies. Foxconn, ASUS, Trend Micro, and Reno Studios also exhibited to explore international collaborations.

21 titles, 10 panels, 3 workshops, and 6 site visits at INNOVATIONSINNOVATIONS

INNOVATIONS section was themed “To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before”. It exhibited 21 local and international works in MR, AR, and AI. It also explained Web3 and virtual productions to underline possibilities when culture and technology meet. For example, 黑 with AR and volumetric capture was fully booked in all slots immediately.

The section also included 10 conversations, 3 workshops, and 6 site visits, as well as nearly 100 matchmaking meetings. Reno Studios brought 20 industry professionals to CMPC studios and explained the special effect production processes behind the award-winning film Old Fox. It unveiled how virtual production technologies represented street views in Taiwan in the 1980s. Other visits went to Moonshine Studio and NAXS FUTURE to learn about how culture and technology worked together in daily practices.

“TCCF is a great platform to see the latest immersive works from Taiwan, and talk to professionals,” said Venice VR curator Liz Rosenthal. “I am glad to introduce these amazing titles at the Venice International Film Festival.” She also talked about the latest trends in immersive titles and international programs in her keynote.

INDUSTRY STAGE organized sold-out panels, including conversations with award-winning actresses

INDUSTRY STAGE was held on the 14th floor at the Taipei New Horizon Building. It included three press events, three launches, and nine panels. Speakers included Kadokawa CEO Takeshi Natsuno, Final Fantasy producer Hajime Tabata, NVIDIA manager Joe Keng, Semantic Error director Kim Soojung and producer Lee Haeun, Imagine International Vice President Janice Chua, Crazy Rich Asian director Adele Lim, and panels with Foxconn, ASUS, and Trend Micro.

At the Global Media-Mix with Technology session, Kadokawa CEO Takeshi Natsuno mentioned that the company published 5,500 titles each year. If best-selling titles are adapted into animations or films, opportunities are enormous. At the Masterclass: Semantic Error session, director Kim Soojung highlighted the series was adapted from a best-selling novel with a wide readership. The story was comedic, romantic, and refreshing to appeal to more audiences. The production team focused on key scenes to be shared widely for online volumes.

Mirror Fiction, Damou Entertainment, and KOKO Entertainment also chose to announce their development pipelines at TCCF. Mirror Fiction announced eight upcoming Taiwanese titles. Damou and KOKO introduced a new adaptation from a popular Korean webtoon, and the cast for The World Between Us 2.

At The Actor’s Journey session, moderator Janet Hsieh had a conversation with award-winning actresses Ariel Lin, Wei-Ning Hsu, and Ying Xuan Hsieh. When asked about aspirations beyond acting careers, Hsu wanted to hold an art exhibition, Lin planned to write and develop stories. Hsieh submitted a plan for an artist residency. The session attracted a full house of 200 fans.

TCCF 2023 happened from November 7th to November 12th at Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, as well as Taiwan New Horizon Building. Three sections, PITCHING, MARKET, and INNOVATIONS, and INDUSTRY STAGE welcomed more participants than ever from around the world. It’s also an opportunity for Taiwanese content to expand global markets.

2023 TCCF demonstrated global impacts, said TAICCA President Chun-Wei Lu. Three sections were all larger than before, with a lot of international presence. TAICCA signed an MOU with CNC, built partnerships with CJ ENM, and announced Be Love, Go Love's original series development program with LINE TV. Series Mania general director Laurence Herszberg also announced a Serial Bridges workshop with TAICCA to propel co-productions between Taiwan and Europe. The workshop will begin next March during Series Mania to create more connections and exchanges.

As 2023 TCCF closes, we look forward to welcoming professionals in Taiwan every November with cultural content and licensing trade. It offers an opportunity for creators to meet potential investors and co-production partners. Through cross-border collaborations, Taiwanese cultural content can expand its global footprint.

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