Looks like Krosa has downgraded to an ordinary typhoon, good news for the island….meanwhile Variety offers some typhoon relief in the form of a view of Taiwan’s movie industry that blames the government’s inability to back the industry as a major impediment to its expansion:

In 2003, following the rare B.O. success of Columbia-backed thriller “Double Vision,” GIO said funding would favor bigger-budget and commercially oriented pictures and that it would open its Domestic Film Guidance pool to films that were international co-productions. Later, GIO minister Pasuya Yao switched the emphasis to quantity, setting out plans for 100 movies a year. More recently, another GIO minister, Cheng Wen-tsan, said the focus should be on big-budget pics and TV series.

In 2004, GIO talked of creating a tax-funding scheme similar to ones on offer in Europe (businesses producing films with one-third of the cast Taiwanese and using Taiwanese locations for one-third of screen time would qualify for income tax credits). But to date, the system has proved unwieldy.

Wang Ying-hsiang, who heads producer-distrib Long Shong Pictures and is also prexy of the Chinese Movie & TV Union Federation, says that, despite the muddles, the government is trying to help.

He adds that under the latest structure, the government has allocated a total of NT600 million ($18.2 million) over a five-year period for productions. Of this, $3 million will be given as grants with evaluation based on script quality. The remainder will be provided as loans with very soft repayment terms and no upper limit to the size of the advance. Co-productions will be eligible with funding provided through the Taiwanese shingle.

Some 500 projects have been submitted for funding approval, but a new hurdle is the ankling of GIO’s Dept. of Motion Pictures director Peggy Chou, who has yet to be replaced.

“Our problems have much to do with the legacy of Taiwan’s entry into the World Trade Organization,” Wang says. “Our movies are classified as services, which limits the way that government can aid the sector. Our battle must be to have them reclassified as cultural goods in the way that they are in some other countries.”

The government seems to have missed a good opportunity here to market Taiwan in ways that can reach millions.