As the U.S. is gradually recovering from the pandemic, Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles partners with CAAMFest for the first time to launch online “Direct to Taiwan” from May 13th to 23rd, 2021. This program, supported by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, will present two Taiwanese feature films and two short films followed by post-screening Q&As. One feature film is “Taipei Suicide Story” that was selected for the Cannes Film Festival and swept top awards at the Slamdance Film Festival; the other is “Radio! Ready Oh!”, a comedy that centers on the bizarre situation faced by a radio station. And the two short films include the LGBTQ comedy “Swingin’” and “Kuroshio Current” that depicts the mindset of a Taiwanese man living in America. Except for “Taipei Suicide Story” that will be geo-blocked to the U.S. only, the other three films are able to be viewed worldwide. All are welcome to watch online.
Directed by KEFF, “Taipei Suicide Story” is about a receptionist (played by Tender Huang) at a suicide hotel who forms a fleeting friendship with a guest (played by Yuhua Sung) who can’t decide whether to live or die. It was in the official Cinéfondation selection of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival. It also won 3 awards at the 2021 Slamdance Film Festival, including the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for narrative features, and the Acting Award for the lead actor Tender Huang. The story of “Radio! Ready Oh!”, directed by Zipeng Hong, is about a crazy battle arisen by a radio station facing bankruptcy, where a young interviewee lands a position by mistake and encounters a series of quirky events. The only person who can save this miserable situation is locked in the storage room. In such a crazy mess with a gathering of scheming DJs, a radio station rescue plan is about to start.
“Kuroshio Current”, directed by Kun-Yu Lai, reveals a story about a 30-year-old Taiwanese man who works in the U.S. While he searches for the amulet his mother gave him before her death, he embarks on a surreal journey where he faces the struggles and conflict feelings about his family and hometown. Directed by Shang-Sing Guo, “Swingin’” is an LGBTQ comedy about an 11-year-old boy bullied in school because of having gay dads. It is the first dramedy/music film of its kind since Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage in 2019.
As the largest Asian American film festival in the U.S., CAAMFest is an 11-day innovative feast of films, music, food, and digital media. Entering its 39th year, CAAMFest will continue to be an anchor event celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, showcasing over 100 films with a schedule of over 50 events. For more information about Direct to Taiwan, please visit https://caamfest.com/2021/programs/direct-to-taiwan/