Long Time No Sea and Gatao 2: Rise of the King were both nominated for this year’s NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award for Best Asian-Pacific Film at the 38th Annual Hawaii International Film Festival.
Long Time No Sea, a film that was six year in the making, is running for the NETPAC Award this year, shortly after the recent 2018 Tokyo International Film Festival Asian Future nomination. Set on Lanyu island, it is a film centered around the Tao people, an indigenous tribe of the Taiwanese island. It is based on true stories and inspired by director Heather Tsui’s personal involvement and experiences with the Tao people. A young teacher from the city volunteers to be in charge of the traditional dance troupe of the school and goes through a process of rediscovering their own identity together with the Tao students—who were at first rejecting their own traditions—as they prepare for an upcoming dance competition.
To ensure the most truthful depiction of Lanyu, director Tsui thoroughly embedded herself on the island and in its culture. For director Tsui, the story of Tao children on Lanyu is as important as documenting of the contemporary Tao culture and its place in the timeline of its own cultural lineage. With this film, she hopes to present a truthful depiction of Lanyu. Long Time No Sea will premiere on November 13th in Hawaii, and there will be a post-film Q&A with director Heather Tsui and the little leading actor Zhong Jia-Jun after the screening.
Gatao 2: Rise of the King is a gangster film about of the rise and fall of some gangsters, whose ambition and revenge, and whose sad ending of their brotherhood. The plot, the aesthetic style, the actors’ performance and the production of the film are stunning. The most exciting part of the film is the scene of the block street gangster war involving thousand people on Linsen North Road, Taipei. Every extra is selected by the director individually. The fight scenes in this movie are almost authentic, and it becomes the pioneer of Taiwanese gangster movies. Director Cheng-Kuo Yen’s debut is truly impressive.
For seven consecutive years, Taiwan Academy and Hawaii International Film Festival have copresented Spotlight On Taiwan special screenings with the support from the Ministry of Culture of Taiwan. The screening this year showcases feature-length films and shorts of various styles and themes from emerging Taiwanese filmmakers. All of the titles will be screening at the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 from November 9th through 16th.
The Rope Curse is a horror movie that combines themes of ancient Taiwanese funeral tradition and school bullying with immense horror. Tea Land is a Golden Harvest award winning film. In the beautiful and tranquil background of Taiwanese mountains, we see the reality of human nature when money and survival are at risk. Floating Weeds is a short film about the friendship of a young man who lost her mother and an old man who lost his wife. The film reveals the unique humanism of Taiwanese short films.
According to Taiwan Academy, the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) was founded in 1990 by Cinemaya and UNESCO dedicated to promoting Asian film throughout the world. The prestigious NETPAC award is given at selected international film festivals to promote Asian cinemas shoot by emerging directors. The two Taiwanese films nominated by Hawaii International Film Festival this year, are debut titles from new Directors.
According the Variety, the Hawaii International Film Festival is one of the 50 unmissable film festivals in the world. It is one of the few festivals in the U.S. that places emphasis on Asian-Pacific films and up-and-coming filmmakers. It is held twice a year in Honolulu and other Hawaiian islands. Film critics, curators, educators, and the film industry around the world all pay their respects to the Hawaii International Film Festival. During the fall festival period, it draws 70,000 audiences in two weeks. Moviegoers are more than welcome to join the screenings.