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Journalist-turned vegetable vendor produces film on fireflies

Journalist-turned vegetable vendor produces film on fireflies

Taipei, July 16 (CNA) A photojournalist-turned vegetable vendor has completed a film on Taiwan's precious firefly species partly out of his own pocket to help enhance the public's environmental awareness.
"Life is full of possibilities. Even though I make a living selling vegetables that is not my dream job. I manage to find great interest in wildlife, which has helped enrich my life, " Chang Chun-po said at a news conference where his newly completed documentary was premiered.
The 38-year-old vegetable wholesaler usually starts his work day shortly after midnight. Despite slim profits, he has managed to save NT$1.1 million over the past few years to finance his film production. During the two and a half years he spent shooting the movie, Taiwan's Forestry Bureau also offered NT$900,000 in subsidies to help cover the cost.
"Although the documentary production is expensive, it is an interesting pursuit beyond any material worth, " said Chang, who was once an environmental photo-journalist with Taiwan Television Enterprise before getting laid off because of budget cuts in his department.
A graduate of National Taiwan Ocean University's Department of Aquaculture, Chang said he has been captivated with fireflies since his childhood.
"That's why I was determined to produce a film that showcases aspects of the light-emitting beetle in its most beautiful shape, " Chang recalled.
The film, shot in terraced fields in the Laomei community in Taipei County's coastal township of Shihmen, vividly depicts the interaction between the farm's elderly owner Huang Tien-chi and a wide variety of aquatic fauna and flora commonly seen in the wet terraced fields.
Noting that producing a documentary consumes both substantial amounts of time and energy, Chang said his life for more than two years has consisted of selling vegetables in the early hours of the morning and shooting the documentary in the terraced fields during the day.
The result he said is a film that deliberately differs from traditional environmental documentaries, which he believes tend to be too serious or boring.
"I want to impress and move my audiences with fascinating images and appealing music so that they will be drawn into the world of insects and eventually come to love their living environment and take actions to protect the natural ecology," Chang said.
The filmmaker indicated that he will continue to sell vegetables and save money to produce more documentaries on wildlife as a way to protect and conserve their natural habitats.
Moved by Chang's devotion to ecological conservation, several prominent artists and filming professionals have volunteered to offer assistance, including voicing subsitiles in Taiwanese, Mandarin and English.
(By Yang Shu-min and Sofia Wu)




Updated : 2020-12-04 22:26 GMT+08:00