Taiwanese American Professionals - Los Angeles (TAP-LA) presents the 1st annual Taiwanese American Film Festival (TAFF), held Saturday, July 8, at The Downtown Independent in Los Angeles. TAFF is the only showcase in the US of short film and mediaworks by Taiwanese American and Taiwanese international filmmakers. The Festival organizing team is comprised of filmmakers and entertainment industry professionals, all of Taiwanese descent.
TAP-LA President, JC Chang, says of TAFF: “In the past, our events were geared more towards professionals in traditional industries like finance, STEM, and healthcare; but through our new film festival, we hope to bring creatives and entertainment professionals into our TAP community."
In its inaugural year, the founding organizers focused their mission on creating a platform to connect the Taiwanese American creative community. Through the Film Festival, organizers invite filmmakers and audiences to discover together the unique identity and cinematic voice of Taiwanese Americans.
Festival Director, Roxy Shih, says of the Festival, “By creating this festival, we hope to open the conversation further on diversity by putting the spotlight on Taiwanese-American and Taiwanese filmmakers. We hope to bridge the gap between these two communities by seeing what kind of stories we share through our common roots as well as open up Taiwan's culture to a bigger audience.” Roxy is directing the upcoming film PAINKILLERS from Title Media and Lone Suspect, and has previously directed DARK/WEB series. She made her feature directorial debut with THE TRIBE.
Festival Executive Director, Anthony Ma, expresses: "One of our goals is to use this festival to cultivate a platform where Taiwanese American and Taiwanese filmmakers will not only connect and share their stories, but also find support in each other in their filmmaking journeys and ultimately build a strong community of influencers. As a filmmaker who's seen how a film festival can inspire and instill confidence in a community and an individual artist, I feel that this is integral in our progression as a Taiwanese people." Anthony was a recurring guest star on TV show SCANDAL, and writer/producer/actor of the award winning feature film Elevator and short film Chinese Antique.
Program Director, Edwin Yu, adds: "This Film Festival was designed by a team that truly cares about artists and filmmakers. As creatives ourselves, we understand just how much heart, sweat, and tears all these filmmakers have put into their projects. Our response to the passion we've seen through their films from the very beginning, has been to create an environment where they not only feel championed by the community, but also encouraged and empowered to continue creating." Edwin is the co-founder of Zo! Creative, an entertainment marketing and consulting firm, and was previously the producer of One Year Road Trip, a non-profit organization, and associate producer of award-winning Asian Family film, ANITA HO.
The one-day event features:
● 16 inspirational shorts
○ Selected shorts have screened at France's Cannes Film Festival, Poland's Krakow Film Festival, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
● Industry panel
○ Kelvin Yu (Actor, MASTER OF NONE, Writer, BOB’S BURGERS), Charles Yu (Story Editor, WESTWORLD) & more
● Closing feature documentary, Who is Arthur Chu?
○ 11-time Jeopardy winner Arthur Chu leveraged his internet infamy to fight for positive change in the world. The fast pace of his new life brings up old wounds rooted in his Taiwanese American identity, his strained relationship with his father, and threatens to derails his marriage.
● After party @The Great Company (Arts District)
○ Kavalan Whisky, Taiwan Beer, & boba cocktail
○ Live musical performance
Since starting work on the Festival in January 2017, the Taiwanese American community has offered enthusiasm and generous support for the festival. TAFF wishes to thank our top sponsors: Overseas Community Affairs Council, Taiwan (R.O.C), Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles - Taiwan Academy, Royal Business Bank, First General Bank, City National Bank, Kenjohn and Jacqueline Wang Foundation, OCAC Commissioner Bee Hsu, OCAC Commissioner Harry Lu, and Mitchell M. Tsai, Attorney, Kavalan Whisky, Taiwan Beer and SCS International, Inc.