Naturalized Italian film producer happy to call Taiwan ‘home’

Photo courtesy of Chen Hsi-wen (陳璽文)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Italian film producer Stefano Centini can now truly call Taiwan “home” after his naturalization last month, a change of status he said will make it easier for him to bring stories about Taiwan to the world in a more authoritative manner.

Having lived in Taiwan for 10 years, the 34-year-old Centini, named Chen Hsi-wen (陳璽文) in Mandarin, was one of five foreign “specialists” naturalized in late April, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

Centini was able to gain citizenship for his success in his craft thanks to a revision to the Nationality Act in 2016 that allows foreign nationals with special expertise or who have made great contributions to the country to be naturalized in Taiwan without giving up citizenship in their own countries.

He has produced several documentaries and films about Taiwan or with Taiwanese filmmakers that have been nominated for Golden Bell Awards and Golden Horse Awards, the leading television and film awards in Taiwan.

His most recent project, a film titled “Far Away Eyes” directed by emerging Taiwanese director Wang Chun-hong (王君弘), has been selected for the 30th Marseille International Film Festival (FIDMarseille) this year.

In 2019, his “Inside Weiwuying Center for the Arts” was nominated for the Golden Bell Awards, and a documentary he produced titled “A Holy Family” was promoted by the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) at the Berlin Film Festival in February.

Chen Hsi-wen shows off his laptop that has a sticker of the Republic of China (Taiwan) flag on it.

The TAICCA, established in June 2019 and supervised by the Ministry of Culture, is a professional intermediary organization that promotes the development of Taiwan’s content industries.

After being naturalized, he can now officially “speak for Taiwan” in the international community and “take Taiwan stories to the world,” he told CNA.

He said his naturalization also made his parents who live in Rome happy because of the relief they felt at their son being in Taiwan as the deadly COVID-19 stormed through Italy.

As for Centini himself, he said that after having traveled to many places in Asia, he found there was no place that made him feel as at home as in Taiwan.