The Slamdance Film Festival announced 2021 award winners in February, with the Taiwanese film Taipei Suicide Story directed by KEFF taking both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for Narrative Feature; the leading actor, Tender Huang, also earned the Acting Award. 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 Yunhua Sung) who can’t decide whether to live or die. The film was also in the official Cinéfondation selection of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival. The Taiwanese short film There was also selected in the official competition. There depicts Taiwan’s traditional funeral that confuses and alienates a foreign immigrant.
Slamdance Joshua Tree, to be held from September 24th to 26th, is an outdoor screening event featuring award-winning and audience-favorite films from the 2021 Slamdance Film Festival. The three-day event will be held at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center, located at 59700 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree, CA 92252, and will present the festival’s opening night screening of Taipei Suicide Story and There on September 24th, followed by a Q&A with the director KEFF. All participants must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and will be required to show a vaccination card and form of picture identification before entry.
Established in 1995, Slamdance has nurtured filmmakers that have generated over $18 billion at the box office over the last 25 years. Filmmakers who have shown their early short films and debut features at Slamdance include Bong Joon Ho (Parasite), Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Ari Aster (Midsommar), Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), and Christopher Nolan. Besides the film festival, Slamdance also hosts screenplay competitions, workshops, mentorship, and year-round programs to discover the next generation of cinema talent. The upcoming Slamdance Joshua Tree will present 12 features and short films from 5 countries (Canada, Norway, Spain, Taiwan, and the United States) from the 2021 Slamdance Film Festival. For more information, please visit https://slamdance.com/joshua-tree/#about.