A Taiwanese film has been nominated among 238 film projects at the 20th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) for potential post-production support from leading investors in the global film industry.

On May 30, the film project “Love Me or Not” (愛情大數據) was announced as one of the 16 nominees in the 2016 “It Project,” an initiative by the Network of Asian Fantastic Films (NAFF), which is part of the BIFAN Industry Gathering. The sci-fi romance is the only Taiwanese project selected this year.

“In the past, we worked with television stations or film companies through taking cases, but we need to wait passively in this working process,” Shaballe Kao (夏佩爾), producer and screenwriter for the film, told The News Lens International.

For “Love Me or Not,” screenwriter Shaballe Kao and director Monica Kao (烏奴奴), screenwriter and director, developed the film project on their own, starting with the screenplay.

“We hope to attract interested film companies or investors through local and international venture capital projects,” Shaballe Kao says.

Though the project faces disadvantages such as lack of affiliation with a well-known producer or film company, the pair says they enjoyed the freedom of creating their screenplay.

“The price we have to pay is time, and physical and mental effort,” says Shabelle Kao.

BIFAN was established in 1997, and is known as the second largest film festival in South Korea. The festival launched NAFF in 2008 with the goal of promoting the exchange and support of films, both domestically and internationally. Projects nominated in the It Project under NAFF have one-on-one business meetings with global-leading investors and film industry members that offer them film production and networking opportunities.

Over the past nine years, 36 of the 151 projects selected in the It Project have been produced and shown in film festivals and theatrical releases around the world.

Taiwanese films such as “The Ghost Tales” (變羊記, 2012), “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” (明天記得愛上我, 2013), “The Laundryman” (青田街一號, 2015), “The Tag-Along” (紅衣小女孩, 2015) have also been selected in past It Projects.

“Love Me or Not” hopes to find investors in South Korea first so it can start preparations for filming.

“We can also apply for other venture capital projects and begin looking for local sponsors and investors if we obtain the early stage funds,” says Shabelle Kao.

Sci-fi is a genre rarely seen in the Taiwanese film industry. After evaluating the current market and production qualities in the country, the pair decided to write a romance with a sci-fi touch. The screenplay also draws inspiration from current technology, such as Google Glass, to give the audience a more imaginative experience.

Shabelle Kao says the Taiwanese film industry has become more creative in the last few years, and combining elements from the East and West has been an advantage for Taiwanese filmmakers. He points out that Taiwanese movies have been doing well internationally, and now younger producers need more opportunities in Taiwan to feature their work.

“We hope the new government can give young people with dreams of producing movies more chances,” he says. “It can also reference BIFAN to help creators connect with the international community and produce more creative films.”