Private Project

Listen to Me, Madam President!

On January 16th, 2016, Taiwan elected a new President, marking the first time in the country’s history that the opposition party won both the presidential race and more than half the seats in the Legislative Yuan. Such a dominant victory stems from the desire of the Taiwanese people for this new President to bring about positive change. Taiwan’s youth, in particular, have very high hopes for the President given that her image has always been aligned with young people. She even had a campaign ad titled “Walking with Children”. In the future, however, will she listen to the suggestions of the voteless children and youths?
We collected the heartfelt voices of children and youths across the country, from indigenous students living on offshore islands to second-generation immigrants in rural areas to high school dropouts. Additionally, seven of our little reporters went through five months of preparations for an opportunity to interview the President about her children and youth policies. How exactly will the President answer them? Can the President’s responses resolve their concerns?

  • Chou Wen-chin
  • Huang Hung-ju
  • Project Type:
    Short, Television
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 20, 2016
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Chou Wen-chin

Director Chou Wen-chin is a masters graduate of the Fine Arts Department of Taipei National University of the Arts. He began his career as a director of photography and film editor. Over the last three years he has worked as an episodic director, director of photography and editor for the National Geographic Channel.

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Director Statement

In Taiwan, adults often like to use the saying, “Children are the future owners of the country.” But in real society, Taiwanese children are seen as “immature” and “in need of protection and restriction”, as opposed to citizens who have the “power to fight for rights” and the “ability to show concern for public affairs”.

This is both contradictory and absurd.

As a children’s news program, the important purpose of Octopus News is to break through the prejudices adults have against children. This is why, with a new Taiwanese government set to come into power in 2016, we decided to launch the “Listen to Me, Madam President” initiative. By inviting the President to sit down with children and conduct a level conversation, we can show the ability of children to exercise their citizenship, while at the same time gain an understanding into our new government’s children and youth policies.

To complete the project, seven of our little reporters began their preparation work as soon as the election results were announced. Over the next five months, they went through each concrete step, from brainstorming ideas and collecting information to engaging in group discussions and participating in interview rehearsals. During this period, our interview team also headed to various parts of Taiwan to invite children from disadvantaged backgrounds to express their hopes for the new President.

After seeing the interview with the President and hearing the little reporters’ surprising thoughts and laments, it makes us realize that these children sought to interview the President not for fun and not for honor, but because they genuinely want to see a better future.