14 APAC / Issue Q3 2020 , Content Powerhouse TAICCA and CATCHPLAY announce joint investment in SCREENWORKS ASIA to build Taiwan’s content powerhouse. To extend the reach of Taiwan’s original content, Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) and CATCHPLAY have announced a joint investment in SCREENWORKS ASIA Ltd. to create more original Taiwanese content for the international audience. The joint venture has a goal to increase the quantity and quality of entertainment content productions and to facilitate a platform for international collaboration, aiming to make Taiwan a powerhouse for Asian original content. CATCHPLAY is the leading distributor for international movies in Taiwan, with movies such as La La Land, Green Book and Parasite in its recent line-up. Its streaming service, CATCHPLAY+, is one of the few digital content services that have successfully expanded to international markets, having over 6 million users to date across operations in Taiwan, Singapore, and Indonesia. Employing more than a decade of experience in the content industry, CATCHPLAY has had a remarkable slate of film investments, including the financing of Hollywood films The Revenant, Assassin’s Creed and director Martin Scorsese’s Silence in addition to 20 Once Again, a co-production with Korea’s CJ Entertainment. In 2019, CATCHPLAY, in partnership with Warner Media’s HBO Asia, took on the distribution of its first Taiwanese original drama series, The World Between Us, and saw the TV series become the most successful Mandarin-speaking series of the year. TAICCA Chairperson Hsiao-Ching TING states, “With a proprietary distribution network and experience investing in international productions, CATCHPLAY has been a long-term distributor of international films and television programs. Investing in the development of Taiwanese films, TAICCA hopes to leverage CATCHPLAY’s international distribution channels and reverse long-standing trends by exporting Taiwan-produced films overseas, resonating with the agency’s “internationalisation” and “brand creation” strategies TAICCA looks forward to working with CATCHPLAY to establish a foundation for original content from Taiwan to integrate with the global market, empowering Taiwan to become an influential contributor of original content around the globe. “We used to play by the rules of international content industry rules to bring good international content to the Taiwanese audience. Now, it’s time to leverage our experience from the international market to bring Taiwan’s original works to the world,” said CATCHPLAY CEO Daphne YANG, “It’s an honor that TAICCA favours this concept and our team’s capability. We hope that this partnership can help the Taiwanese film and television industry build a new platform in line with international standards.” The main focus of SCREENWORKS ASIA will be producing and distributing premium Taiwanese original entertainment content targeting international audiences. SCREENWORKS ASIA selects various topics of international interest for development, focusing mainly on movies, mini-series, and factual entertainment for theatrical releases, TV, or streaming services with creating diversified, cross-industry global IP as its long-term goal. The first SCREENWORKS ASIA project announced is the sequel to one of the most successful Mandarin- speaking drama series of 2019, The Making of An Ordinary Woman II. The Making of An Ordinary Woman and The World Between US were named the top two Mandarin- speaking shows of 2019, rated 8.6 and 9.2 respectively on IMDb, the leading international content rating service, and reached many hundreds of millions of viewers in Asia and all over the world. Both shows were from Taiwan and introduced to streamers on CATCHPLAY+. Five more projects have also been announced by SCREENWORKS ASIA with principal photography for two of them kicking off this summer. Since its establishment last year, TAICCA has endeavoured to work on IPs with outstanding potential to facilitate their development. Among them, the martial art short film, The Method of Breathing by cutting-edge director Yi LIU, the winning project selected at the end of last year by the Taipei Golden Horse Film Project Promotion, has seen its development accelerated through a TAICCA- established platform and participated in the IP Showcase at this year’s European Film Market in Berlin. SCREENWORKS ASIA will also develop a TV drama and movie of the same name, creating a stage for the content industry and creators to leap into the international market. TAICCA utilises the Development Fund to invest in diversified industries and fill in industry gaps, systematically constructing an ecosystem for films with Taiwan- related content. TAICCA will continue to collaborate with the government and private sector to welcome additional co-investors for the promotion and development of Taiwan’s cultural content industry.
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