The Taiwan Film Festival (TWFF) launches for the first time in Australia, showing the depth and breadth of cinematic works from Taiwan, which produced world famous directors such as Ang Lee and Hsiao-Hsien Hou. From human drama and documentary through to horror, the festival’s handpicked program will offer nine feature films and four short films. TWFF will strictly run for three days only from July 27-29, 2018 at Sydney’s Event Cinemas George Street.
TWFF opens with Bo An’s heartfelt and contemplative film titled, Sen Sen. The story focuses on the friendship between Sen Sen, a boy who has experienced loss of a loved one, and Granny Lily, who is determined to live life to the fullest despite being at the final stage of cancer. Closing the festival is Father to Son, a film on family relationships, identity and reconciliation directed by award-winning Ya-Chuan Hsiao and produced by Hsiao-Hsien Hou.
The festival’s highlight is The Story of the Stone, a contemporary adaptation of the classic novel by the same name. A depiction of gay life in Taipei, the film explores stereotypes of male masculinity and the darker side of Taiwan. Director Starr Wu will appear for a special guest Q&A session after the film screening.
The Taiwan Film Festival will also announce the winner of their short film competition at the closing ceremony on July 29. Selected from fifty submissions, four shortlisted titles will be screened throughout the festival.
Festival Director Benson Wu says, “Taiwanese films are regular contestants in the international film festival circuit. Breaking away from overused formulas found in many western and mainstream Asian cinema, Taiwanese filmmakers tend to embrace unexplored talents and present strong stories, all the while retaining a distinctly Taiwanese voice and style. The international film festivals recognise the quality of Taiwanese cinema, however, only a limited number of these films are ever shown in Australia.
My desire to share the beauty of Taiwanese films led me to launch the Taiwan Film Festival in hopes that more Sydney audiences, including people of Taiwanese heritage, will see the best of Taiwan’s contemporary films and embrace the talents found within.”