After a whirlwind-worldwide find-raising effort, “Formosa Betrayed” gets the go-ahead for production and a face-lift in its marketing efforts.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The last time we heard from Will Tiao, he was heading off on a globetrotting excursion to secure funding for Formosa Betrayed, his feature film based on the Chinese Nationalists’ rule over Taiwan.
Inspired by the stories of injustice and oppression often recounted by Tiao’s parents, who were blacklisted in Taiwan by Chinese Nationalists who overtook the country in 1949, Formosa Betrayed tells the story of an American detective who is assigned to investigate the murder of a Taiwanese American professor who actively spoke out about the political situation in Taiwan.
Set in 1983, the story follows an American detective who is investigating the murder of a Taiwanese professor in the United States. As the detective investigates, he finds out that the professor was spied upon by his Chinese students, and that those students were hired by the KMT Government in Taiwan. The detective goes to Taiwan to catch the assassin, only to realize that the murder is part of a larger political conspiracy that goes all the way to the top of the Chinese Nationalist regime, a conspiracy to quell the nascent Taiwanese Independence Movement.
Fearing potential political repercussions, studios turned a blind eye on the content, which challenged Tiao with the huge responsibility of raising the money himself. Fortunately, Taiwanese communities worldwide were littered with people who have been waiting for decades for a voice to speak about this horrific tragedy that’s been hidden in Taiwan’s history. And thus, the buzz began.
“We never had a chance to speak out,” Formosa Betrayed supporter Gina Mao told the San Jose Mercury News. “We never had a chance to let people know what the real history of Taiwan was.”
Since Tiao’s global fundraising adventure, “Formosa Betrayed” has evolved tenfold. For starters, Tiao secured enough funding to finish the script, attach stars and roll into production — doing it all with key art and a pitch packet, along with his unrelenting passion for unlocking the voices of the Taiwanese people. Production has now been scheduled for shooting in Chicago and the Far East.
Tiao’s fundraising efforts have also paved the way for the design and building of “Formosa Betrayed’s” website. Dreamentia’s designs have already been approved, and they have enlisted the interactive expertise of MCG Studio to build and maintain the site for them, a site which will be instrumental in keeping fans up to date on the film’s status.
The initial key art, which had to be designed without the use of the stars’ images, was conceptualized and designed by Dreamentia Creative Laboratories, a Los Angeles-based agency that first worked with Tiao on a short film called “The Starbucks Story.”
“Our challenge from the beginning was to create artwork that was more emotional than specific,” said Dreamentia CCO Jim Olen, “using imagery that sparked an immediate reaction from those who knew the story well, along with those who were unfamiliar with it. In the end, the shattering of the Taiwanese identity became the central theme, layered on top of the political sabotage that’s woven throughout the story. It’s impactful, tension-filled and yet simple imagery. Work that we’re exceptionally proud of.”
The updated look, provided by Dreamentia, will aide Tiao’s challenge of maintaining “Formosa Betrayed’s” buzz while he raises enough funds to see this project through post-production and an eventual limited release.
And like all the others that’ve stood in his path, this is a challenge Tiao will overcome.
Please visit www.formosathemovie.com for more information.