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Taiwan director Niu wants to elevate Mandarin film

The Associated Press, Monday, November 19, 2012, 5:38pm (PST)

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Golden Horse-nominated director Niu Chen Zer says he gets tremendous joy doing work he loves and he's found a new way to share it with the world.

His company, Honto Productions, is joining with another Taiwan-based film company, Atom Cinema, to release eight television and film projects over three years. China's Huayi Brothers will be an investment and distribution partner in the collaboration announced Sunday.

Niu said he will look for suitable projects as a producer and wants to help raise Mandarin-language films to the next level.

"I'm ready," Niu said. "For the rest of my life, other than making a few more good films, I want to share with others everything I know and the resources I have. I want to share it with the world."

The collaboration comes at a pivotal moment in Taiwanese cinema, which has made a comeback in recent years after a long period of poor performances at the box office. Niu said that through exchanges and collaborations between filmmakers in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong, he sees a better future for Mandarin-language films.

This announcement came a week before the Golden Horse Awards, which honor Mandarin-language films. Niu is a nominee for best director for "Love," which has three other nominations.

He was just 17 when he received his first Golden Horse acting nod for "Growing Up" in 1983, an experience he proudly called one of his most exciting and nerve-wracking.

"I didn't expect to win, nor did I want to win," he said. "However, as the date of the award ceremony approaches, you begin to have a lot of imaginations, thinking 'wouldn't it be nice if I win?' When you're sitting at your seat, it's very nerve-wracking. I remember that. Your heart is pounding, when they announce the winner and it's not you, it's like a rollercoaster ride. I remembered it well."

He said he loves his work, so any award he might receive is a "bonus."

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