The 40th Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) of 2020 presented over 200 films from 45 countries during November 5th to 29th in a combination of online screenings, drive-in cinema, and live screenings at theatres. HIFF has also partnered with Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles for the ten consecutive year to launch “Spotlight on Taiwan,” showcasing 4 feature films and 2 short films, in which the actor Yi-Wen Chen of the short film“Growing Pains” won the Best Actor Award of the Short Film Category. This marks Taiwanese cinematic achievements in international platform.
“Growing Pains” is a film about the subtle father and son relationship. The director Po-Yu Lin was born in Taipei in 1990, with a master’s degree from the Department of Motion Picture in National Taiwan University of Arts. He has written and directed a number of shorts and commercials. “Growing Pains” is Lin’s semi-autobiographical film starred by the actor Yi-Wen Chen as the father. Being a director, screenwriter, actor, and playwright, Chen has won the Best Leading Actor Award by the feature film “A Sun” at the 56th Golden Horse Awards of 2019. This time in “Growing Pains,” Chen played exquisitely the father being deep in debt while struggling to earn his son’s recognition.
The Short Film Category jury includes the actress Kelly Hu, the senior producer-director Erin Lau, and the writer-director Alika Maikau. “The power in Yi-Wen Chen’s performance came through in not only the dialogue, but also in his moments of silence. He gave us the ability to bear witness to both a burdened man and a loving father in the same breath,” praised by the jury. “We are honored to acknowledge this incredibly vulnerable and raw performance by Yi-Wen Chen in "Growing Pains" from Taiwan.”
“HIFF is the only statewide independent film festival in the United States. It has been regarded as the gateway for Asian films into the American market and the foremost festival that bridges the Eastern and Western culture,” said Emmy Yang, Director of Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles. “We are pleased with the award winning achievement by“Growing Pains”and will endeavor to promote outstanding Taiwanese films to the world through HIFF.”