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'Beyond Beauty' soars to break local box office record

2013/11/04 19:26:01

Taipei, Nov. 4 (CNA) The stunning aerial photography featured in "Beyond Beauty: Taiwan From Above" has helped propel the film to make NT$11 million (US$373,868) in just three days, more than any other documentary has made in its premiere week at the local box office.

The 93-minute film netted NT$5.72 million in Taipei alone from its release Nov. 1 to Nov. 3, according to distributor Activator Marketing Co.

Now showing at 44 cinemas countrywide, it is also the widest release ever of a locally made documentary, the company said.

In the film, director Chi Po-lin, well known for his aerial still photography, brings together rare bird's-eye glimpses of Taiwan's natural beauty, from mountains to oceans and everything in between, to forge a penetrating message about the importance of environmental protection.

"I love Taiwan very, very much, so I want to express my feelings for this land through the film. I want to faithfully show Taiwan's land, in its true form," Chi said in a recent promotional video aimed at raising funds for an outdoor premiere of the film, which took almost NT$100 million and over three years, including 400 hours in the air, to complete.

"The biggest goal of this film is to let everyone 'see' Taiwan, to know and cherish our homeland," said the 49-year-old, who worked as a civil servant before deciding to give up his job -- and pension -- to dedicate himself to the project.

"Beyond Beauty" brings together several heavyweights in film, including Hou Hsiao-hsien, a veteran director who served as producer, and the award-winning Singaporean composer Ricky Ho. The documentary is narrated by actor and director Wu Nien-chen.

Nolay Piho, an aboriginal pastor and actor better known by his Chinese name Lin Ching-tai, also wrote and performed some of the songs in the film.

Though just released, the film has already been nominated for best documentary and best original film score at the 50th Golden Horse Awards, which is slated for Nov. 23.

(By Christie Chen)