Taiwanese director Doze Niu has been found guilty of violating Taiwan’s Vital Areas Regulation and will be spending five months in prison.
According to Film Business Asia, back in June last year, the director was caught smuggling his mainlander cinematographer Cao Yu into the restricted naval facilities in Kaohsiung using another Taiwanese crew’s ID to scout locations for the drama, “Paradise in Service”, when the latter’s original application was rejected.
While the Navy previously allowed Niu to enter its facility, the presence of Cao has caused the force to withdraw its support, and charged Niu for national security breach.
When he admitted his guilt last month, Niu appealed for a lenient sentence, citing that he has financial difficulties due to the movie’s weak performance – having made only USD 790,000 at the box office despite its alleged USD 8.3 million budget.
Following his plea, Niu’s 5-month sentence has then been suspended for two years. He was, however, still sentenced to 60 hours of community service, as well as fined NTD 600,000 (approximately USD 19,600) by the Kaohsiung court.
Meanwhile, Cao Yu has not returned to Taiwan since the issue started, and may still be arrested if he tries to enter the country.