Taiwan Film Showcase is coming back soon! From November 9th to 11th, held by San Diego Asian Film Festival, UC San Diego Taiwan Studies Lecture Series and Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles, Taiwan Film Showcase will present seven movies that are the latest and the most exciting films from Taiwan. During the period of time, Taiwan Film Showcase will be primarily screening at UCSD Price Center Theater. The off-campus screenings will be taking place at either UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley or Museum of Photographic Arts. The screening includes feature films and documentaries that are nominated or awarded by several international film festivals and awards. What’s more, there are VR screenings on short films. This is the very first time for audiences in San Diego to experience VR films from Taiwan.
The film lineup this year is diverse and inclusive. The opening film “Dear EX” has been awarded the Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Narrative Feature, and Press Award by the 2018 Taipei Film Festival. This movie was codirected by Mag Hsu, a famous Best Screenwriter awarded by Golden Bell Awards in Taiwan, and the emerging director Chih-yen Hsu. The movie is about a housewife Sanlian Liu who found out her deceased husband had changed his main insurance beneficiary to a random guy Jay he had an affair with. While Sanlian freaks out over the money she and her son should have received, her son moves in with Jay unexpectedly. The climax of this movie changes from characters’ hostile and betrayed relationship to forgiveness and release. The uniqueness of the story and impressive dialogues had fully reflected the humanities. The Director Chih-yen Hsu is known for his creativity. With the background as a music video director, he blends the plot, performances and unique visual experiences together in this movie masterfully. Director Hsu will join the post-screening Q&A on November 9th in San Diego.
“Father to Son” is a movie about memories and the relationship between a father and a son, with the subplot that tells the story of how Taiwanese society pursues wealth under global economy during the cold war. This movie is also awarded the Best Director, Best Narrative Feature, Outstanding Artistic Contribution in Art Design and Music by 2018 Taipei Film Festival. Another movie “Xiao Mei” is a story about a marginalized girl who disappeared mysteriously. Through the reminiscence of nine people, the director lets audiences to piece Xiao Mei’s life story and destiny together on their own. Owing to its mysterious style of imaging in this movie that creates an uncommon audacious innovation in Taiwanese film industry, “Xiao Mei” was nominated for the 68th Berlin International Film Festival and was the opening feature screening for the Hong Kong International Film Festival.
In the semi-autobiographical movie “A Family Tour,” director Ying Liang tries to stand on the point of emotion and aesthetic, as an exile, in order to interpret the incomplete expression from direct action. “Late Life: The Chien-Ming Wang Story” presents Chien-Ming Wang’s baseball life and his determination in life. The screening also includes “The Mountain” and “Moon Fascination, Bird Sweet,” two digital restoration films supported by Taiwan Film Institute and its overseas promotional platform “Taiwan Cinema Toolkit”.
Another pioneering we made this year is to let audiences to experience the fascination of VR videos. “Your Spiritual Temple Sucks” is a 360 degree stereoscopic video to convince audiences that seeing is not believing by putting them into a lifelike virtual reality world. “The Train Hamasen” uses full-frame lenses to build up a generation back in time, and it hints a century’s history obliquely onto a chessboard. These two movies, awarded by 2018 Kaohsiung Film Festival, break the frame of traditional film theater and combine movies with exhibitions.
According to Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles, it has been seven years since the first Taiwan Film Showcase series was being released. Aside from the screenings at the Price Center Theater on campus, “Dear EX” and “A Family Tour” will be screened at UltraStar Cinemas Mission Valley, and “Late Life: The Chien-Ming Wang Story” will be screened at Museum of Photographic Arts respectively. For the 7th year in a row, the San Diego Asian Film Festival presents the Taiwan Film Showcase, one of the largest annual presentations of Taiwanese cinema outside of Asia. For more information of Taiwan Film Showcase, please visit https://sdaff.org/2018/taiwan-film-showcase/.
Deputy Director of Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles