The 20th edition of San Diego Asian Film Festival (SDAFF) will kick off on November 7th, showcasing over 170 films from 29 countries. Taiwan Film Showcase will present 7 feature films and 4 short films, most of which have been nominated or won international film awards. SDAFF was founded by Pacific Arts Movement in 2000. Since 2012, Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles has collaborated with the UCSD Chuan Lyu Foundation for Taiwan Studies and the UCSD Taiwan Studies Lecture Series to present “Taiwan Film Showcase” as part of SDAFF. This year marks the 8th year of the participation of Taiwan Film Showcase.
This year, Taiwan Film Showcase will kick off with “Heavy Craving” on November 9th. “Heavy Craving” was awarded the Best New Talent and the Audience Choice Award in the International New Talent Competition category at this year’s Taipei Film Festival. It is at the same time nominated for the Best New Performer by this year’s Golden Horse Awards. It shows the potential of this film, and the popularity among the audience. Immediately followed “Heavy Craving” is the screening of “We Are Champions” on November 11th at the Price Center Theater at UCSD, and on November 12th at the UltraStar Mission Valley. Director Chang Jung-chi will be present for post-screening QA discussion after both screenings with the hope of striking a chord among the audience in San Diego with this fiery basketball-themed film. Director Chang Jung-chi’s first feature film “Touch of the Light” won the New Director Award of the 49th Golden Horse Awards. “It is our pleasure to continue collaborating with Pacific Arts Movement, Taiwan Studies Lecture Series at UCSD, and Chuan Lyu Foundation for Taiwan Studies for the 8th year to present Taiwan Film Showcase. We have a strong, diverse collection of films this year to present the multi-faceted cultural landscapes of Taiwanese film industry,” stated Emmy Yang, director of Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles.
“We Are Champions” is director Chang Jung-Chi’s dramatic basketball film with brotherhood at the center. An inseparable bond is tested between two brothers who share a painful past and dreams to play in the cutthroat Taiwanese High School Basketball League (HBL). The Jiang brothers from a parentless family are discovered by a basketball coach at a street basketball match, which soon changed their destiny. They go from playing streetball to playing for radically different teams: the younger brother is recruited by the well-endowed defending champs, whereas the older brother joins the ragtag Kuang Cheng basketball team, a team short on funds but with plenty of never-say-die spirit. The younger brother receives high attention from his coach and soon turns into a shining star on the basketball court from a shy boy who was always chasing his brother. With the growing distance between them, the two brothers, who once had nothing but each other, now face off at the championship match on opposite teams. Time witnesses not only the growth of them but also their loss of each other. On this route to championship, these two brothers must defeat each other for their own teams. When the ending whistle blows, they finally realize that whatever they have lost for the first half of the match, they must win it back during the second half.
Taiwan Film Showcase takes place from November 9th to 16th at the Price Center Theater at UCSD, Ultra Star Mission Valley Cinemas, Edwards Mira Mesa, and Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego. In addition to “We Are Champions” and “Heavy Craving”, screening line-up includes “Three Makes a Whole,” an adapted story based on Chiung Yao’s novel of threesome in a romance relationship; “Wild Sparrow,” a story about skip-generation families and the issue of life and death; “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Show,” an adaption from the same-titled stage play of All U People Theatre; “The Chief of Yancheng District,” a documentary that describes the golden times of Yancheng; “Love Boat: Taiwan,” a documentary about the “Overseas Compatriot Youth Formosa Study Tour” summer camp in Taiwan; Short film “Taiwanese Cha Cha Cha” depicts the surprising adventure of two young girls behind their parents back; “Quan Ma He” talks about the existential dilemma of the villagers around Quan Ma River, deep in the mountains in Northern Myanmar; “Tail End of the Year” is about the reunion during the Lunar New Year’s Eve in Taiwan in 1988; “The Love Motel” is about a female student who received her education in the United States and had a huge fight with her family due to her sexual orientation. After she ran away, she ended up in a motel pondering on her family and life.
San Diego Asian Film Festival is the biggest film festival in San Diego. Each year, it presents to the audience the premieres of films from all over the world, allowing them to see the diverse subject matters addressed upon in international films. “Taiwan Film Showcase” has continued screening Taiwanese films during the Festival for 8 years, and has since become one of film festivals that presents most Taiwanese films outside Asia. Welcome all audiences for attending all the screenings.
For more information about the “Taiwan Film Showcase”, please visit the website https://sdaff.org/2019/taiwan-showcase-ucsd/