Filming in Taiwan
Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, Taiwan is blessed with a rich variety of climatic zones, landforms, and ﬂora and fauna. Its transportation infrastructure is well-developed and it offers a friendly environment for foreign ﬁlmmakers. Film content is not subject to governmental regulations or censoring, and ﬁlmmaking can be done without the need of government approval. Well-known directors who have come to Taiwan for shooting their ﬁlms, include, for example, Ang LEE (Life of Pi, 2012), Luc BESSON (Lucy, 2014) and Martin SCORSESE (Silence, 2016). Motion picture enterprises interested in doing so are advised to seek the assistance of production agents in Taiwan.
Must-Know Information About Filming in Taiwan
1. Work Permits:
Applications for work permits must be submitted to the Ministry of Labor for foreign ﬁlm crewmembers who have employment relationships with Taiwan-based investors or organizations or companies involved in the ﬁlmmaking project, or who have been invited by them to work on the project. Processing of applications requires 7-10 working days. Work permits are not required for the shooting groups who do not have such relationships.
- Visa applicants with a work permit: They are required to be issued the permit, which must be submitted along with visa application to an R.O.C Ministry of Foreign Affairs (hereinafter referred to as "MOFA") consular office abroad. Based on the work permit, the consular office will issue an entry visa or a residence visa for the purpose of accepting employment. Upon arrival in Taiwan, such visa holders may then immediately commence work.
- Visa applicants without a work permit: They are required to submit appropriate documentation issued by the employing foreign motion picture/television dramas production company together with their visa applications to an R.O.C consular office abroad. Applicants whose work requires them to enter and exit Taiwan multiple times, or to reside in Taiwan for more than 6 months, must seek the assistance of the Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development of the ROC Ministry of Culture (hereinafter referred to as "BAMID"), which will apply to the MOFA for visas on their behalf.
Visa categories and periods of validity are as follows:
(a) Visa-free Entry: Allows citizens of countries with which Taiwan has a visa-waiver agreement to enter and reside in Taiwan for a period of 30-90 days without the need of visa application.
(b) Entry Visa: Grants residency for a period of 60-180 days.
(c) Residence Visa: Grants residency for a period of more than 180 days to applicants who have a work permit with a validity period exceeding 180 days.
(d) Multiple-Entry Visa: Issued to applicants whose work requires them to enter and exit Taiwan multiple times.
3. Duty-free customs treatment will be accorded to equipment, costumes, props, etc. which are to be used solely for ﬁlming operations and are re-exported within 6 months of importation into Taiwan.
Please also note:
- If the aforesaid items are brought to Taiwan as baggage, the responsible person should complete a declaration form at the airport of departure and, upon arrival in Taiwan, present the original declaration to customs officers in order to be accorded duty-free treatment. Airlines require that large batteries be properly packaged and normally impose a fee for overweight baggage.
- If the aforesaid items are shipped to Taiwan as cargo, then in order to receive duty-free customs treatment at the port of entry, they must be accompanied by a guarantory deposit equal to the value of the items; statement of the expected period of use in Taiwan; the applicant’s work permit (if applicable); bill of lading; and contact information in Taiwan.
To enhance Taiwan's international visibility and stimulate the exchange of motion picture-related talents and techniques, BAMID officers funding assistance to internationally well-reputed ﬁlm directors and ﬁlm production enterprises interested in undertaking ﬁlmmaking projects in Taiwan.
1. Eligibility for Funding:
- Motion picture productions which are produced wholly or partially in Taiwan.
- Television drama productions which are produced wholly or partially in Taiwan.
- Foreign motion picture/ television dramas production enterprises refer to the production enterprises that are founded in territories other than Taiwan, mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.
2. Funding Coverage: Expenditures incurred in connection with the employment of R.O.C citizens for ﬁlm-shooting operations in Taiwan, and with pre-production and/or post-production operations in Taiwan.
3. Amount of Funding:
- Motion pictures: Up to $NT 30 million.
- Television dramas: Up to $NT 20 million.
4. Funding Application Procedure: Direct application or application via a Taiwan-based production company.
5. Application/Funding Flow Process: Submission of application to BAMID > Approval of application > Execution of ﬁlm-shooting > Submission of original expenditure receipts for approval > Disbursement of funding.
Film-Shooting Assistance Contact
Central and local government agencies welcome foreign ﬁlm production enterprises to request assistance in selecting and making arrangements for ﬁlm-shooting locations.
Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development of the R.O.C, Ministry of Culture
Taipei Film Commission
The Taipei Film Commission was established in 2007 to provide assistance for ﬁlm production in Taipei city. Be it about location scouting, tax credit, traffic control, or advertisement broadcasting, the TFC is committed to making filming in the Capital as rewarding as possible. The TFC has previously supported international productions such as Silence (2016) by Martin SCORSESE, Lucy (2014) by Luc BESSON, The Crossing (2014) by John WOO, Shield of Straw (2013) by MIIKE Takashi, and many more domestic productions. An extensive online location gallery, talent database, and lists of incentives are also available on TFC's multilingual website.
New Taipei City Film Assist and Development Center
T +886-2-2960-3456 #4641-#4645
New Taipei City has numerous fascinating natural and cultural landscapes to offer. From the scenic coastlines of northeast Taiwan to the winding mountain streets in Jiu-fen and colonial-style western buildings in Tam-sui, New Taipei City is home to rich ﬁlmmaking resources. In recent years, the New Taipei City Film Assist and Development Center has supported the ﬁlming of Silence (2016) by Martin SCORSESE, The Crossing (2014) by John WOO, and Stray Dogs (2013) by TSAI Ming-liang.
In addition to online databases of locations and ﬁlm organizations, an English production guide is also available for download on its official website.
Taichung Film Development Foundation
T +886-4-2323-6100 #31-#34
Taichung is situated in the middle of Taiwan, with the Taichung International Airport, rail and high-speed rail systems providing easy access to the major cities of Asia. There are many gorgeous natural scenery and architecture and diverse locations for ﬁlming in Taichung.
The Taichung Film Development Foundation was established with the aid of Information Bureau, Taichung City Government. TFDF integrates resources from public and private sectors, promotes the development of ﬁlm industry in Taichung and helps develop the city into a friendly location for ﬁlming activities.
Film Development and Production Center,
Kaohsiung City Government
Kaohsiung is a youthful, energetic city blessed with a pleasant climate all year round and natural scenery of mountains, rivers, ocean, and harbors. Film Development and Production Center was formally established in 2009 and has thereafter attracted many ﬁlm crews, including that of Paradise in Service (2014) by Doze NIU Chen-zer, Black and White: Episode 1 & 2 (2012 & 2014) by TSAI Yueh-hsun, and KANO (2014) by Umin Boya. Its professional team provides all-round assistance from location scouting, space and equipment hire, post-production, and administrative support, helping ﬁlmmakers make their dreams reality. A detailed online ﬁlm location and producer database, as well as application forms for production and accommodation subsidies, are available on its official website.