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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.   
2019
04/07
NYC festival, workshop to feature two Taiwan comic artists
Date:2019/04/06~2019/04/09 Taiwanese comic artists Li Lung-chieh (李隆杰) and Ko You-shi (柯宥希) will be bringing their award-wining works — "1661 Koxinga Z" and "Why Not? 3" — to the 2019 MoCCA Arts Festival running from April 6 through 7 in New York. Upon the arrangement of the Taipei Cultural Center in New York, a Taiwan Comics Night will also be held on April 9 at the US Society of Illustrators.   Li, 36, is a Taiwanese comic artist who illustrates significant episodes and intriguing anecdotes from the nation's history. The combination of local customs with bold and explicit fighting scenes provide an alluring glimpse of the forces that shaped Taiwan.   His stand-alone comic " 1661 Koxinga Z " pits Federick Coyette, the last Dutch governor of Taiwan, against the titular Koxinga, a young Ming loyalist and son of a pirate who would eventually establish his own kingdom on Formosa. It captured  the Comic of the Year title  at Taiwan's Golden Comic Awards in 2018. As an expert in fresh and transparent painting techniques, Ko presents moving stories that have conquered the hearts of countless readers. The 36-year-old artist, who goes by the penname Cory Ko (顆粒), believes that one must first thoroughly experience life before formulating a story.   Her "Why Not? 3" goes beyond the average campus romance by exploring the shifting dynamics among best friends Cheng and Jheng-hsin, and Cheng's baby sister Ni Ni. The serialized story touches upon friendships, same-sex partnerships, and societal expectations, garnering the Best Comic for Teenage Girls at the 2018 Golden Comic Awards.   Li and Ko will greet visitors at Booth J283-284 of the MoCCA (Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art) Arts Festival, the largest annual gathering of independent illustrators, animators, and comic artists in New York City. This year's edition at Metropolitan West is expected to attract creators, publishers, and literary scouts from around the world.   A one-night-only event on April 9 will also see the two Taiwanese comic artists give a lecture at the Society of Illustrators, during which they will discuss their respective creative process, hold live demonstrations, and share the features of made-in-Taiwan comics.
2019
04/01
‘come 2gether’ — Taiwanese dancers to reunite in Brooklyn
Date:2019/03/30~2019/03/31 Two cultures. Two dance companies. An imminent reunion in New York of two dancers who are brought together not only by their artistic experiences as women, but also by their firm beliefs in time, faith, and humanity. The resulting dance production — "come 2gether" — will debut in Brooklyn, NYC on March 30 and 31.   Wang Chien-ying (王倩盈) is one-half of US-based OcampoWang Dance, a duo co-established in 2010 with her husband Paul C. Ocampo, a dancer-choreographer from the Philippines. Whereas Pan Yu-chen (潘鈺楨) is the co-founder of Taiwan's JueDai Contemporary Jazz Dance Theatre (爵代舞蹈劇場).   Amid the many ways that lives can become separated, the strength of love can hold fast and bind together ties that would otherwise fade. Meeting in the early days of their collegiate lives, Wang and Pan have maintained their connection across oceans, continents, and languages barriers, despite the compression of available time upon becoming spouses and mothers. Till today, they continue to exist as a "duo," holding steadfast to each other through the mysterious bonds of creativity and movement. As their upcoming performance in New York completes a shared journey that began in Taiwan, "come 2gether" will reunite two strong Asian women in a uniquely powerful performance on their common origins, divergent lives, and the female artistic experience.   "come 2gether" is supported by YongLin Foundation, Taiwan; The Ministry of Culture, Taiwan; Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government; Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York; and the Byrne Seminar and Department of Dance, Rutgers University.     ‘come 2gether’ March 30: 7.30pm March 31: 3.30pm (Q&A) & 7.30pm (post-show reception) Venue: The Mark O'Donnell Theater at The Actors Fund Arts Center Address: 160 Schermerhorn St, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Tickets:  US$15 for general public; US$10 for students/seniors
2019
03/18
Taiwan’s VR, cinema, and music prowess to be featured by SXSW
Date:2019/03/08~2019/03/17 The Ministry of Culture has assembled a delegation encompassing digital media, cinema, and music to represent Taiwan at South by Southwest (SXSW), an international festival celebrating the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries that will take place in Austin, Texas from March 8 through 17.   First up are the three virtual-reality productions selected by the SXSW Virtual Cinema segment — "The Making Of (幕後)" by Midi Z (趙德胤), a pseudo-documentary with a "film within a film" metacinema approach to portray onsite filming and things that happen behind the scenes; "Gloomy Eyes," a Taiwan-France VR production featuring a socially awkward zombie and voice acting by actor Colin Farrell; and "Mechanical Souls (囍宴機器人)," in which a new-generation female android model is hired to play the road of lead bridesmaid at a rich Chinese wedding party.   Taiwan director John Hsu (徐漢強), who made his debut in 2018 with the quirky VR film "Your Spiritual Temple Sucks (全能元神宮改造王)" on summoning a personal guardian to resolve one's marital and financial problems, has also been selected for the SXSW Convergence Tracks segment. He will be attending the Austin event with support from the US cultural diplomacy program American Film Showcase.  Departing from Taipei, Deputy Culture Minister Celest Hsiao-ching Ting (丁曉菁) will also lead a delegation representing Taiwan's creative sectors to meet with SXSW organizers, Austin government officials, and local media representatives.   Six Taiwan bands — Elephant Gym (大象體操), My Skin Against Your Skin (激膚樂團), CHIU PI (邱比), EggPlantEgg (茄子蛋樂團), The Fur, and I Mean Us — will also help showcase the vibrant independent Taiwanese music scene in a March 13 concert in Austin. The popular Taiwan Beats night at SXSW is an annual affair organized by the Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development.