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Documentary to record Taiwanese youths working holidays in Canada

2012/04/15 20:26:49

Taipei, April 15 (CNA) A Taiwanese man will soon shoot and produce a documentary that chronicles the experiences of Taiwanese youths on working holidays in Canada, hoping to spread the message that overseas work-and-travel programs are not just for fun.

"(Participating in) a working holiday program abroad can mean more than fun and making money," Lin Yen-chieh, director of the film, told CNA in a recent interview.

Lin's documentary concept comes at a time when more than 10,000 Taiwanese young adults are taking advantage every year of the country's working-holiday agreements with Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United Kingdom.

Under the program, young adults are offered opportunities to work, travel and live in other countries and experience different cultures.

One of the first group of people to participate in the Taiwan-Canada working holiday program that took effect in July 2010, Lin said he lived a much different lifestyle during his year in Vancouver and drew new inspiration from the experience.

Lin worked as a producer of commercials after graduating from college, but he found it difficult to strike a balance between life and work and decided to quit his job and travel to Canada in 2010.

Higher wages in Canada allowed him to work for only a few days per week and spend the rest of his time recording scenes and events that interest him on camera, the 29-year-old Lin said.

The longer he stayed in Canada, the more he felt motivated to produce a documentary, and he is now auditioning six main characters, all with different personalities, for his film.

To date, more than 20 candidates who plan to join the working holiday program in Canada have applied for a part.

Asked about his criteria in selecting his main characters, Lin said he will evaluate applicants based on their curiosity, their courage to face challenges, and their background and motivation for going on a working holiday.

Lin said he was looking, for example, for both a new college graduate who is open-minded toward the future and someone who has a successful career but is seeking a change in his or her life.

After the characters are selected, Lin said he will follow each of them in Taiwan to record their preparations for their adventure in Canada.

"I will then spend one year in Canada recording their lives there," he added.

The filming in Canada will be mainly based in Vancouver and is expected to be finished in July 2013, Lin said.

The documentary, which will have an estimated budget of NT$2.5 million (US$84,693), is expected to be completed before the end of next year, the director said.

The film -- featuring six stories of Taiwanese adults aged between 18 and 35 -- will also be used to promote the working holiday program, Lin added.

(By Elaine Hou)