With the support from Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, the third iteration of the Taiwan Biennial Film Festival (TBFF) is held by the Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles in partnership with the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA). The US theatrical premiere of Man In Love will be held at the famous TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on the evening of November 3, 2021, followed by an exclusive recorded Q&A with the film director Chen-hao Yin. Additional sponsors include the Taiwanese United Fund and Watchbeem Inc.
The 3rd TBFF stays true to its mission to create and maintain a strong bridge between the Taiwanese film community and Hollywood, the center of the global film industry. For the first time, TBFF is displaying a festival logo, combining a butterfly (Taiwan is known as the kingdom of butterflies) with palm trees (an iconic image of Los Angeles) to represent Taiwan’s free creativity flying between East and West.
With the theme “Breadth of Life,” the 3rd edition of TBFF reveals the vitality and dynamic nature of Taiwan’s modern life. The butterfly represents the transformation viewers will experience through Taiwanese cinema. TBFF 2021 will be held in-person and online, from November 3-12, 2021. Opening the festival is Man In Love, which will be screened in person at the TCL Chinese Theatre on November 3. Man In Love is a bittersweet romance of a debt collector who falls in love with the daughter of his debtor. Director Chen-hao Yin’s first feature film has reached almost NT$400M (US$14M) at the local box office, Taiwan’s biggest locally-produced hit this year. From November 4-12, 2021, TBFF will show an online festival on the global co-watching platform, Watchbeem.
In addition to the opening film, the festival lineup consists of 19 feature films and shorts, encompassing a broad range of genres reflecting the “Breadth of Life” that Taiwanese films represent. Included is A Leg, a dramedy about a wife’s journey to find her husband’s missing leg. Nominated for 4 awards at the 2020 Golden Horse awards, A Leg reveals the breadth of a marriage, how they met, how they fell in love, and how the relationship gradually shatters. As well as 2049, set 30 years in the future, 2049 is a trilogy of three separate but thematically related stories, and by presenting various views of Chinese social issues and the impact of technology, 2049 reminds viewers of the impact of unintended consequences; western viewers will find this familiar to Black Mirror broadcast on Netflix. Also, Phil’s Journey, a story between Taiwan and New Zealand, is a documentary that follows a father who travels thousands of miles to find his missing son. The kindness and assistance he experiences in Taiwan provide comfort to Phil. Moreover, My Missing Valentine – a whimsical tale of a girl who upon looking forward to her “hot” date on Valentine’s Day eve, wakes up to find that the day has mysteriously passed by, The Silent Forest – a social-psychological thriller adapted from real-life events, Get the Hell Out – a satirical zombie film that reflects the turmoil in Taiwan’s legislature, and We Are Champions – a film that symbolizes the strong bond of two siblings on the basketball court.
Highlights from the shorts collection include Swingin’, a coming-of-age story about a boy with two gay dads. Sixth-grader boy Qiu is determined to show the world he is, unlike his parents, straight and manly. Also, Melody’s Melody, a love story for the times of a lonely silver-aged lady falling for the man of her dreams over the internet. And, for family members who are at their wit’s end being at home with each other, Dear Brother reveals the breadth of a family’s bond with each other. In addition, pre-9-11 New York is shown in Dance Dance Dance, our 16mm retro-short entry for 2021; Man, Monkey, Mannequin is a story of life circumstance and philosophy, surrounded by a man who hikes up a mountain after his friend’s passing and ends up with a broken leg, while the monkeys make fun of him; and Paint Again depicts how a mid-aged couple finds their passion toward life in their empty nest age. Additional features and shorts consist of various genres including dark comedies, heart-warming family dramas, LGBTQ, all of which represent Taiwan in the most contemporary and realistic manner.
This year’s Biennial was curated by Douglas Montgomery, CEO of media consulting company, Global Connects, and founder / Executive Producer of the Japan Connects Hollywood Film Festival. Using his experience working at Warner Media for over a decade, Montgomery will host two industry panels, discussing the potential of foreign language content and international co-productions around the world. “The changes in the global entertainment industry have been accelerated greatly by the effects of COVID-19 and the work-from-home-culture. Audiences more than ever are open to content from different cultures and Taiwan is perfectly positioned to take advantage of this opportunity. We are very excited to show the wonderful Taiwanese films curated in TBFF 2021,” Montgomery comments.
Rounding out the festival will be two online industry panels, taking not only Taiwanese, but all film fans deep into Hollywood and the global entertainment business outlined below:
Foreign Content Potential
Lisa Pak – Partner Manager from Parrot Analytics
Jay Tucker – Executive Director of the UCLA Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment & Sports (MEMES)
Titles such as Parasite, Squid Game, and others have taken the world by storm. The speakers will give their thoughts on the seemingly exploding demand for foreign language content.
TPaul Miller - SVP of Strategy and Operations of A+E Studios, who has over 25 years of experience in this area working for MGM, Sony, Amazon Studios, Warner Media and now A+E Studios.
Eric Barmack - founder of Wild Sheep Content, following 8 years as Vice President, Head of Netflix Originals. Netflix VP and head of international original series,
This panel will focus on international co-production with two experts from Hollywood.
Additionally, TBFF is featured for the first time with a tech forum entitled “When tech meets the filming—what technology can offer?” to embrace the technology advancement in film making and showcase how technology may shape the cinema industry. The forum is led by the top-tier animation experts including Oscar winners for Scientific and Technical Achievement Award, Prof. JP Lewis and Alex Ma, together with Iris Wu, CEO of the innovative sound company Ambidio, and Professor Anita Hu from both industry and academia. The forum will be joined by a special guest, Dr. Chia-Chen Kuo, from National Center for High-performance Computing NARLabs Taiwan to provide insights on how Taiwan can provide the technology resources for the global filming industry. The forum is organized by the Science and Technology Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles.
From its beginning in 2017, the Taiwan Biennial Film Festival has become the exclusive event showcasing Taiwanese films on the west coast of the United States. The third iteration of the festival lasts for 10 days, including film screenings, discussion panels, and a reception at JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles.
《Opening Night》 TCL Theater – Invite Only
Time：November 3rd, Wednesday 6pm to 10pm
Venue：Screening: TCL Chinese Theatre (6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA)
Reception : JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles (6801 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 in the same complex as TCL Chinese Theatre on the 5th floor)
Content：Man In Love, with Q&A with director Chen-Hao Yin (recorded)
Nov 4th and Nov 11th, 7:30pm
--We Are Champions, Director Jung-chi Chang
*This is a special screening free for students.
Nov 4th thru Nov 12th, the following films are available on-demand, geo-blocked to the US
--2049, Directors: Li-Da Hsu & Chien-Ching Chu
--A Leg, Director: Chang Yaosheng
--Get The Hell Out, Director: Wang I-Fan
--The Last Thieves, Director: Jack Hsu
--My Missing Valentine, Director: Yu-Hsun Chen
--Phil’s Journey, Yeong R. Chen
--The Silent Forest, Chen-Nien Ko
Nov 4th thru Nov 12th, the following shorts are available on-demand, geo-blocked to the US:
--Bin Bin, Director: Chi-Chieh Han
--Dance Dance Dance, Director: Ming Lang Chen
--Man, Monkey, Mannequin, Director: Dan Chi Huang
--Love After Time, Director: Tsai Tsung Han
--Dear Brother, Director: Wei Chi Fang
--Melody’s Melody, Director:Chih Yu Chen
-- Paint Again, Director:Po Yu Chen
-- State of the Cat, Director: Hsing-Che Lin
-- Swingin’, Director: Guo Shang-Sing
-- Tilapia, Director: Jing An Hung
-- Good Day, Director: Zhi-teng Zhang
Nov 4th thru Nov 12th, the following panel discussions will be moderated by Douglas Montgomery and are available on-demand:
--Foreign Content Potential, Guests: Lisa Pak, Jay Tucker
--International Co-Production, Guests: TPaul Miller, Erik Barmack
《Screening / Reception Venue》
TCL Chinese Theatre: 6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles: 5th Floor Reception, 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood CA 90028