The sub-contractor of Taiwan’s National Day film attracts censure from both sides across the aisle for mistaking Alps and Yushan. Plan-blue legislator also question the company’s abilities to win multiple contracts from the governments, including one of Twin Oaks, Taiwan’s de facto embassy in the US.
Presenter:Taipei City Councilor You Shui-hui is questioning how the video production company that included footage of the Swiss Alps in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' National Day video has won so many MOFA tenders when the company has existed only a few short years. The ministry denies speculation that it assigned the projects to the company through restricted tenders.
After it was pointed out aerial footage supposedly of Yushan was actually the Swiss Alps in a Ministry of Foreign Affairs-produced National Day video, the head of the video production company apologized, saying the mixup was caused by how similar Yushan is to the Swiss Alps. Former Democratic Progressive Party Secretary-General Luo Wen-chia says the production company is "lying" unless it is in the habit of using copyrighted material without permission. Luo says an apology isn't enough.
Luo Wen-chia, Former DPP Secretary-General: “I don't think this was a mistake. If you don't handle this properly, you'll make a lot of people think they can use copyrighted material for free and then claim ignorance if they get caught. (The Ministry of Foreign Affairs) should ban directors or agencies that do this.”
Alaya Films was incorporated on Oct. 6, 2018. Immediately afterwards, it got the Twin Oaks project from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Lee Kui-mu, Alaya Films Founder: “In 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the Twin Oaks project. It was then that I decided to open a company. I called it Alaya Films. After that, I successfully won the bid for the Twin Oaks project.”
Alaya Films has produced numerous projects for the ministry. Taipei City Councilor You Shu-hui believes the National Day video project was a restricted tender. You says if the ministry had such faith in Alaya's abilities, how did this mistake happen?
You Shu-hui, Taipei City Councilor (KMT):” If the Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided on a restricted tender because it has such a deep understanding of Alaya's capabilities and thinks it has such special standards, should the ministry take full responsibility for this embarrassment?”
The ministry says it held a public, not restricted, online tender for the project that was open to any and all companies with professional multimedia production capabilities. The ministry is adamant this was not a project given to a designated production company, which it says is different than a restricted tender.
Joanne Ou, Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs:” A public restricted tender means we welcome bids from all professional video companies with multimedia capabilities. This tender was of course held online and open to the public. It was not a so-called commissioned project from a designated company.”
The ministry maintains the tender process was open, transparent, and legal and says it will pursue penalties under contract law. It also says it will conduct a thorough evaluation of this "mistake" and draft refined production-quality review mechanisms.