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Shipwrecks Taiwan
Tim Lee’s new docuseries spotlights the plight of marine life

by Rebekah Krushnisky / © 2024, ORTV.


Director Tim Lee (李景白) traversed Taiwan and Asia in filming travel programs like Fun Taiwan (瘋台灣) and Fun Asia (瘋亞洲). In 2017, on a dive trip in Bali, Lee pondered, “Why not turn my lens on uncharted territory, the underwater world?” Not long after, Lee began filming his first underwater series, 30 Meters Underwater (水下30米).

  As professional underwater cameramen are a rarity, Lee, a certified dive instructor himself, learned to film underwater for the project. The series went on to win three Golden Bell Awards. Lee continued to seek unique content to film underwater and released Aqua Challenge (決戰水下伸展台) in 2021. It is the world’s first underwater reality show where photographers and free divers create expressive photos in competition with other teams.


Inside sunken ships

  This year Lee released a new eight-part docuseries, Shipwrecks Taiwan (沈睡的水下巨人), to raise a cry for Taiwan’s marine life. Lee produces, directs and stars in the series with popular actor Sunny Wang (王陽明). Lee chose shipwrecks, not only because they have an aura of mystery, but also because they are good barometers of an area’s ecological health. Sunken ships are natural magnets for marine life; thus, if there is little wildlife and species diversity at a wreck site, it is a strong indicator that area’s marine life is under serious threat.


Ocean in critical condition

  The state of the ocean surrounding Taiwan is like that of an emergency room patient in critical condition, Lee says. Without drastic changes in behavior, the prognosis is grim. This new series hopes to raise public awareness of overfishing and the precarious ecological state of Taiwan’s coastal waters in a similar manner as 2013’s Beyond Beauty, Taiwan from Above (看見台灣) a cinematic masterpiece by director Chih Po-Lin (齊柏林) that spotlighted the effects of industrial pollution on land. Lee hopes that viewers will be inspired to take action to protect the seas.


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