Currently an artist-in-residence at the 18th Street Art Center in Santa Monica, rising Taiwanese filmmaker Zhijin Tsai will be screening her short film “24 Hours” at Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles this upcoming Tuesday, October 3rd. Inspired by the conceptual novel “Last Words From Montmartre” by Qiu Miaojin (1969-1995), Taiwan’s most renowned lesbian writer, the film was part of the official selection for short films in Ze Festival, LGBT (France), and selection of the program - La Nuit Étoilé at the 2016 Polygone Étoilé Cinema (France).
Zhijin Tsai’s work will be accompanied by two short films by emerging local Asian American filmmakers also focusing on topics of LGBTQ, Bo Yoon “Amber” Ha and Jessica Fuh, to further advocate for cultural exchange and the strengthening of the alliance between Taiwan and the US on issues regarding LGBTQ communities.
Co-hosted by UCLA Residential Life and UCLA LGBT Campus Resource Center, this event is organized in a collaborative effort between Hogan Lee and Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles. According to the organizers, through years of dedication and determination from the Taiwanese LGBTQ activist movement, Taiwan is closer to become the first ever country in Asia to recognize same-sex marriages, through the official verdict given by the Taiwanese supreme court in 2017. Not only is this an iconic step forward for Asia region, but internationally as well.
Filmed in France, the story of “24 Hours” begins with the last day in the life of Mai, a young expatriate writer. She shuts herself in her apartment while writing the last chapter of her novel “Last Words”. Without adapting the scenes from Qiu’s texts directly, director Tsai cut her words into pieces and rearranged them in a new context for internal monologue. Deeply moved by the intimacy and the sincerity of Qiu’s writing, Tsai interpreted the main character to be able to meet the writer in the cinema. This film is also the homage to both personnel and historical terms for the late 90’s post-martial law period of Taiwan.
Aside from Tsai’s work, Taiwan Academy has invited two additional LGBT short films, “Things We Carry” and “Us”, each created by an emerging student filmmaker from UCLA, Amber Ha and Jessica Fuh, respectively. Shot on the island of Udo in South Korea, “Things We Carry” follows a lesbian Korean girl returning home for her father’s funeral to uncover a secret that brings her closer to acceptance. “Us” follows two gay-straight best friends in Los Angeles, who find their relationship tested in intricate ways when one gets a new girlfriend.
After the screening, a roundtable discussion featuring all three directors, moderated by Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Undergraduate Studies at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Sean Metzger, will follow.
Tsai Zhi-jin, graduated from Marseille Art and Design school in France in 2015, has a documentary film background in Taiwan. Born in Taipei, she currently lives between Tainan (Taiwan) and Marseille (France).
Press Contact: Ashley Sun, Senior Cultural Officer of Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles