Film on Taiwan's first baseball team to hit theaters in 2014

Taipei, May 20 (CNA)"Kano," a film about Taiwan's first baseball team, has finished shooting and editing and is expected to hit local theaters around Chinese New Year in 2014, Taiwanese director Wei Te-sheng, one of the film's producers, said Monday. Sound and special effects will be the next task in post-production of the film, which began shooting in November last year, Wei told reporters after a press conference to promote a national high school baseball championship. A 30-second trailer will be shown at the June 2 final of the championship, said Wei, who wrote the script of the film after reading about the team in a bookstore seven years ago. The 43-year-old director is best-known for his NT$700 million (US$23.37 million) epic 2011 film "Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale," which dramatizes a violent anti-Japanese uprising by aboriginal people in Taiwan in 1930. Set in 1931, when Taiwan was a Japanese colony, "Kano" tells the true story of a high school baseball team from Chiayi that traveled to Japan that summer to play in the Koshien tournament, a renowned high school baseball tournament. Taking its title from the team's name, the film portrays the rigorous training practices of the team, which was composed of Japanese players and Taiwanese athletes of both Han Chinese and indigenous origin, and how it advanced to the finals of the tournament. The film, directed by aboriginal director Umin Boya, also known by his Chinese name Ma Chih-Hsiang, has a budget of around NT$250 million. It was shot in southern Taiwan's Chiayi, Tainan and Kaohsiung, as well as in Taichung, central Taiwan. Wei said he is moved by the simple passion and spirit demonstrated by high school baseball players. "For some, high school baseball championships are a springboard into world and professional baseball. For others, it is the last game in their lives, so they make an all-out effort," Wei said. The director said he has always regarded sports and the arts as indicators of a country's national strength, and he urged Taiwan to pay more attention to the development of its sports and arts sectors. (By Christie Chen)