Blockbuster movie director launches fundraiser for 'Taiwan Trilogy'

Taiwanese director of ‘Cape No. 7’ seeks to depict country’s history from three different viewpoints


TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Wei Te-sheng (魏德聖), the acclaimed director of Taiwanese blockbuster hits "Cape No.7" and "Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale," has launched a fundraising campaign for his planned movie series the "Taiwan Trilogy," seeking to share the country's story with the world.

Labeled by Wei as "a gift for Taiwan from the Taiwanese," the project will look at the country's 17th century history from the three viewpoints of Dutch colonizers, Chinese immigrants, and indigenous peoples. The director said the movies will be set in 1624, during an era dominated by the struggles between different groups.

With the country's current pandemic success, Wei said it is time for Taiwan to take the international stage, as he has assembled a mostly Taiwanese cast and crew. He said his vision for "Taiwan Trilogy" started three years ago, and that he has informal agreements with 90 percent of the actors and actresses he has in mind.

Wei pointed out the team has recruited actors from the Siraya, a tribe that inhabited in Taiwan's southwest lowlands for decades before and during the Dutch occupation of Tainan. He said the Siraya language, thought extinct by the United Nations, will also be "resurrected" in the trilogy with the help of linguists.

Meanwhile, Wei noted that his Dutch actors have yet to arrive in Taiwan due to the pandemic, but they have shared several conversations via video conference. He remained optimistic about starting the shoot next summer and said set construction will begin in September in Kaohsiung.

The 50-year-old director confessed that he has been worried about where he will secure funding as the project is expected to cost NT$4.5 billion (US$153 million) for the trilogy and an additional NT$10 billion for an amusement park that will be transformed from the sets. He joked that he even spent NT$200 on a lottery ticket, hoping to win the grand prize, reported UDN.

Wei emphasized that the "Taiwan Trilogy," which is projected to open in 2024, will help Taiwanese understand and reflect on their past, present, and future.

According to CNA, the first phase of the fundraiser was launched on Wednesday (Aug. 5) and will continue through Oct. 10. As of Friday morning (Aug 7), more than NT$13 million has been received.

For more information, please visit the Taiwan Trilogy official website.

Animated layout of indigenous villages. (Taiwan Trilogy image)

Animated layout of Tainan port used by Chinese immigrants. (Taiwan Trilogy image)

Storyboard of Taiwan Trilogy. (Taiwan Trilogy photo)