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2019
06/16
Puppetry maestro to make rare appearance in Atlanta
Date:2019/06/15~2019/06/16 Puppetry master Chen Hsi-huang (陳錫煌), who is revered as a national living treasure of Taiwan, will lead his troupe to perform "A Chance Encounter Leads to Marriage (巧遇姻緣)" on June 15 and 16 at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia. Post-performance sessions will also be held to showcase maestro Chen's sophisticated skills for puppet movements.   "A Chance Encounter Leads to Marriage" is a mesmerizing, traditional hand-puppet show that surpasses language and cultural barriers. This non-verbal piece tells the tale of a young couple's chance meeting at a festival that has puppets juggling, practicing acrobatics, performing martial arts, and much more.   This rare three-show performance is co-sponsored by Taiwan's Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO), Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Atlanta (TECO in Atlanta), and Atlanta's Center for Puppetry Arts.   Maestro Chen will also donate two Taiwanese glove puppets to the Center for Puppetry Arts, which will be displayed at the center for local and international visitors to learn more about Taiwan's traditional folk arts. Maestro Chen is the only puppeteer in Taiwan to have been recognized by the Ministry of Culture as an important preserver of both traditional glove puppetry and classical glove puppet clothing and headwear props. He founded the eponymous Chen Hsi-Huang Traditional Puppet Troupe (陳錫煌傳統掌中劇團) in December 2008.   The main focus of Chen’s puppetry is "life." He wants his puppets to resemble people in all respects, including their postures, expressions, and movements. He also has a habit of describing what he wants from his puppets in terms of "asking" them, revealing a master's deep respect for the art he practices.     ‘A Chance Encounter Leads to Marriage’ Date: June 15 – 16, 2019 Venue: Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta Address: 1404 Spring St. NW at 18th, Atlanta, GA 30309-2820 USA Site: http://www.puppet.org/buy-tickets/2019-20/a-chance-encounter/
2019
06/07
Puppetry maestro to make rare appearance in Atlanta
Puppetry master Chen Hsi-huang (陳錫煌), who is revered as a national living treasure of Taiwan, will lead his troupe to perform "A Chance Encounter Leads to Marriage (巧遇姻緣)" on June 15 and 16 at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia. Post-performance sessions will also be held to showcase maestro Chen's sophisticated skills for puppet movements.   "A Chance Encounter Leads to Marriage" is a mesmerizing, traditional hand-puppet show that surpasses language and cultural barriers. This non-verbal piece tells the tale of a young couple's chance meeting at a festival that has puppets juggling, practicing acrobatics, performing martial arts, and much more.   This rare three-show performance is co-sponsored by Taiwan's Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO), Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Atlanta (TECO in Atlanta), and Atlanta's Center for Puppetry Arts. Maestro Chen will also donate two Taiwanese glove puppets to the Center for Puppetry Arts, which will be displayed at the center for local and international visitors to learn more about Taiwan's traditional folk arts.   Maestro Chen is the only puppeteer in Taiwan to have been recognized by the Ministry of Culture as an important preserver of both traditional glove puppetry and classical glove puppet clothing and headwear props. He founded the eponymous Chen Hsi-Huang Traditional Puppet Troupe (陳錫煌傳統掌中劇團) in December 2008.   The main focus of Chen’s puppetry is "life." He wants his puppets to resemble people in all respects, including their postures, expressions, and movements. He also has a habit of describing what he wants from his puppets in terms of "asking" them, revealing a master's deep respect for the art he practices. A Chance Encounter Leads to Marriage’ Date: June 15 – 16, 2019 Venue: Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta Address: 1404 Spring St. NW at 18th, Atlanta, GA 30309-2820 USA Site: http://www.puppet.org/buy-tickets/2019-20/a-chance-encounter/  
2019
05/23
Taiwan to bring thrillers, VR productions to 2019 Cannes
Date:2019/05/14~2019/05/25   A press conference was held on May 2 in Taipei to celebrate the inclusion of four films directed or co-produced by Taiwanese artists in the official selection of the 72nd Cannes Film Festival running from May 14 through 25 in France.   "Nina Wu (灼人秘密)," a 2019 Taiwanese feature directed by Midi Z (趙德胤), will be screened in the "Un Certain Regard" section, while three virtual reality films co-created by Taiwanese new media artist Hsin-chien Huang (黃心健) and American multidisciplinary artist Laurie Anderson will be showcased in "Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (The Directors' Fortnight)," an independent section held in parallel to the French film festival.     "Nina Wu" has garnered funding twice from the Ministry of Culture after Midi Z captured the FEDEORA Award for Best Film with "The Road to Mandalay (再見瓦城)" at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival.   Huang's virtual reality artworks have also received financial assistance from the Ministry, Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development, and National Culture and Arts Foundation on several occasions.   Huang has worked with Anderson on many different types of multimedia installations since 1995. Their latest co-creation is a 15-minute-long VR work named "To the Moon (登月)" marking the 50th anniversary of the first manned space mission that landed on the Moon. Offering an immersive experience under zero-gravity conditions as if participants were astronauts walking, flying, and exploring the mountainous terrain of the Moon, "To the Moon" contains six vignettes that offer an “idealized” perspective of humanity’s moon-landing history.     Completing the latest trilogy of co-productions between Huang and Anderson are "Aloft (高空)" and "La Camera Insabbiata (沙中房間)," in which the latter garnered the Best VR Experience Award at the 74th Venice Film Festival. The three poetic VR works will be showcased together at Cannes for the first time.   Huang noted that VR films create an immersive environment allowing viewers to explore the carefully crafted scenes from a first-person point of view, which results in a deeper and more impactful experience than that of other film technologies. He also encouraged young filmmakers to embrace VR, as this is the medium that will define their generation.   Shot completely in Taiwan, "Nina Wu" is Midi Z's fifth feature film starring Taiwanese actresses Wu Ke-xi (吳可熙), Kimi Hsia (夏于喬), and Vivian Sung (宋芸樺). It is the first Taiwan film to be selected by the "Un Certain Regard" section since 2008, when "Parking (停車)" by director Chung Mong-hong (鍾孟宏) received that distinction.   Midi Z noted that he was extremely surprised to hear of the inclusion of "Nina Wu," because it is not an art film but a thriller. "This is a movie about women, about Taiwan," he said of his latest work inspired by the #MeToo movement.   Le Marché du Film, one of the world’s largest film markets, will take place concurrently with the Cannes Film Festival from May 14 to 23. This year, a delegation organized by the Taiwan Film Institute will pitch 111 quality Taiwanese films and audiovisual projects, including 37 feature films, 21 documentaries, 32 short films, six restored classics, and 15 proposals. Representatives of 15 distribution firms from Taiwan will also join the trade fair.   Among the films are "Paradise Next (亡命之途)," a Taiwan-Japan co-production involving two hit men on a journey of atonement, and "The 9th Precinct (第九分局)," a Taiwanese take on the rookie agent genre popularized by movie series such as "Man in Black" and "Kingsman."   This year, Le Marché du Film has dedicated a new section called "Cannes XR" to immersive technologies and entertainment, where Huang's latest VR production will make its debut. Set in Taiwan, "The Missing Body – Episode 1 (失身記-上集)" provides a surreal story inspired by Huang's childhood memories on the authoritarian martial-law era, introduction of foreign cultures through colonialism and immigration, and the effects of the digital age upon human nature.   Having made a big splash at international film festivals in recent years, Taiwan-made VR productions hope to impress European viewers at Cannes this year with their unique style of storytelling and ever-maturing technological skills.   Commissioned by the Ministry's Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development, the Taiwan Film Institute will once again booth the Taiwan Pavilion at the Palais 01 venue of the film market and help Taiwanese firms introduce their productions to potential buyers.   A Taiwan Cinema Night will also be held in Cannes to invite international buyers and film selectors to learn more about Taiwanese films and prompt distribution and collaboration opportunities.
2019
05/05
LA festival to spotlight films from Taiwan and the Taiwanese diaspora
Date:2019/05/02~2019/05/10 The 35th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival will shine a light on Taiwan by presenting the very best in Taiwanese cinema and showcasing all its diversity in genres and residents that make this island nation one of the most unique countries in Asia.   The annual "Spotlight on Taiwan" section will present two award-winning feature films — Heather Tsui's directorial debut "Long Time No Sea," and Malaysian-born Wi Ding Ho's "Cities of Last Things" — and a record five short films, the most Taiwanese shorts presented in one festival edition.   Inspired by her personal experiences and involvement with the Tao (Yami) tribe of Orchid Island, "Long Time No Sea" follows themes of indigenous identity and family traditions. The real-life dance troupe featured by the film has also won many awards. What is captured on screen truly makes Taiwan a melting pot that bridges Asian and Pacific islanders.   From its striking opening image of a man hurling to death from an apartment building, "Cities of Last Things" is an engrossing, evocative tripartite character portrait told in reverse, working back from the Taiwan of the near future to the recent past. It's a stylish sci-fi noir with neon-lit alleyways and a humid dreaminess that captures the balmy climes of Taipei nights. The common thread of these two films is cross-cultural — the legacy of the Tao (Yami) people on Orchid Island, as well as Taipei as a way station for lost souls from around the world. These two features are also contending in the festival's International Narrative Feature Competition.   This year's edition will also spotlight five shorts by emerging filmmakers from the Taiwanese diaspora: "Mama Pingpong Social Club" by Shiang An Chuang; "The Visit" by Roxy Shih; "Gentlemen Spa" by Yu Jhi-han; "Merry-Go-Around" by Ray Wu; and "I Can’t Bring You Away" by Li-wei Lin.   The 35th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival runs through May 10 in LA. Ticketing information and more can be found here.  
2019
04/19
Taiwanese VR film to screen as part of NYC Tribeca festival
Date:2019/04/24~2019/05/05 "Mr. Buddha (董仔的人)," a virtual-reality work by Taiwanese director Lee Chung (李中), will be screened in New York from April 24 to May 5 as part of Tribeca Cinema 360, an incubation program by the Tribeca Film Festival for top VR creators to debut their latest works.   Lee, 39, graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Film MFA program and was nominated for Best New Director at the 2015 Golden Horse Awards for his feature debut "The Laundryman (青田街一號)," a noir comedy centered on crime and bolstered by performances by actors Joseph Chang (張孝全), Sonia Sui (隋棠), and Wan Qian (萬茜). Lee's "Mr. Buddha" is part of an omnibus of VR films directed by Taiwanese filmmakers. "5x1" was a joint collaboration by HTC VIVE and the 2018 Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival. The short crime story takes place in a car, following Dong-Tzu, Ching-Tsai, and Ni-Sang, who get their hands on a valuable antique only to have the fruits of their labor shared with a newcomer called A-Che.   "Mr. Buddha" will be showcased in the 2019 Tribeca Immersive segment taking place from April 24 through May 5 at the Tribeca Festival Hub located at Spring Studios at 50 Varick Street.   "5x1" is a VR collection produced by established auteur Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢) and film editor Liao Ching-sung (廖慶松). It features five short films directed by Lee, Qiu Yang (邱陽), Tan Seng Kiat (陳勝吉), Chiang Wei-liang (曾威量), and Midi Z (趙德胤).   More information can be found at: https://www.tribecafilm.com/stories/tribeca-immersive-full-lineup-2019.