Taiwan’s Mandarin Vision has been involved in the development, production and distribution of films since 2012, with an ambition to create a solid platform for Mandarin-language directors, producers and investors.
Launched in 201 international, its international sales operations have become a destination for good quality, independent films, with recent titles including “A Sun,” “Detention,” “The Great Buddha +” and “My Missing Valentine”, a contestant at the Golden Horse Film Festival. .
Taiwan’s response to the coronavirus has been so successful that movies on the island have been able to remain open everywhere and production has continued.
Desmond Young, director of international sales at Mandarin Vision, explains the subtle explanations of running a business that is engaged in sales when the business is seen as a battle of wits.
What is it like to run a sales company nowadays?
We have new opportunities for sales, especially in Korea and Japan. Because so much production has stopped this year due to COVID19 (outside of Taiwan), distributors are looking at other pictures, slightly older content for 2018-19 that we wouldn’t normally head to our slate.
How useful are you to virtual film markets?
We attended Cannes and the Hong Kong Filmmart. But not Busan or Tokyo. And we’re not going to ATF. However, we have learned that we can make online calls, facetime at any time without having to prepare for any specific event. We can be more flexible with our clients. And we have found that time differences with AFM can be a real problem with some remote markets.
What makes a virtual festival better?
With individual festivals you know you’ve got one or two screenings and probably 500-seat theaters. With virtual festivals, on top of geo-blocking confirmation, you also need to set the same limit for the amount of tickets they can sell.
We’re not screening virtual festivals for our new titles – it’s a matter of prestige or premier status. For them we will first wait for physical release. So we’ve screened “Silent Forest” this way. Similarly, “My Missing Valentine” had a real world screening in the open cinema section of the Busan Festival last month.
Are you going to promote the Oscars for your film “A Sun”?
This is Netflix’s decision. They have a world outside of China.
How did Taiwan hold the filmmaker?
It’s doing pretty well. It was not directly affected by COVID-19, the movies remained open and production continued. Many such Hollywood studio movies have not been released. However, the quality of Taiwanese films has been very good and the audience has responded. Which in turn helps the industry move forward.
For example, we will do a series taken from the Chinese film ‘Ninth Precinct’.