2021 festival date and the brand-new section Taiwanese Bookshelves

The 4th Taiwan Film Festival in Australia is ready to unveil its festival date and the brand-new section Taiwanese Bookshelves


Written by Simon Yang, Helen Stenbeck, and Benson Wu



Despite all the uncertainties, the fast-growing 4th Taiwan Film Festival will take place from 16th to 30th September. This year, the festival will be presented in the hybrid format which offers both screenings at venues and online streaming for viewers around Australia. The theme of this year’s festival is “flavours”, focusing on Taiwan cinema’s full taste and depth, catering to any cinephile with a discriminating palate. The full program and competition juries will be announced at the end of August.


The Short Film Competition returns this year with more than 50 submissions from Taiwan and Australia. Five outstanding short films are selected as finalists: SWINGIN', a heart-warming story of a same-sex parent family; XXXMOG! demonstrates unique format and stylish techniques to paint Taiwan’s neon with a sense of futurist style; Child of Nowhere, depicting from a child’s point of view, exquisitely expresses the complex emotions of living in an orphanage; JACKS is a quirky and hilarious comedy about an undercover detective goes on a mission; The Quiet, creative and full of imagination, narrative with an animation, it tells a story of the narrator’s childhood memories. The competition winner will be revealed on 19th September.



Taiwanese Bookshelves is a brand new program aiming to introduce contemporary Taiwanese literature and how it connects with the film industry in Taiwan. The program welcomes distinguished guest speakers Wu Ming-Yi, Ari Larissa Heinrich, and many more to share their knowledge and experience in creative writing. With the support of the State Library of NSW, Kinokuniya and The Bookshop Darlinghurst, two events will be held respectively on 17th July and 26th October.



Taiwanese Bookshelves - In conversation with Wu Ming-Yi’s The Stolen Bicycle will be held on 17th July at the State Library of NSW, with special guests Wu Ming-Yi and Darryl Sterk to take part in a livestream discussion with the audiences to share the creative process of developing The Stolen Bicycle (2015), and the importance of literary translation.


Guest Speakers: Wu Ming-Yi

Wu Ming-Yi, a highly acclaimed Taiwanese author and professor of Sinophone literature, who is an enthusiast of painting, photography, and environmental issues. Wu's first two novels, Routes in the Dream (2007) and The Man with the Compound Eyes (2011), have been translated into multiple languages. Wu received multiple awards and prizes from his works including the Prix du livre insulaire award and listed among the best Chinese Fiction Books of the Last Century by Time Out Beijing. Wu’s third novel, The Stolen Bicycle (2015), won the Taiwan Literary Award in 2015 and was longlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2018. The Stolen Bicycle depicts stories through uncovering historical memories, cultures, society, and ecology of Taiwan.


Guest Speakers: Darryl Sterk

Darryl Sterk holds a Ph.D. in Taiwanese literature and film from the University of Toronto and currently teaches at Hong Kong Ling-Nan University in the department of translation. Sterk is interested in Taiwan’s indigenous language, especially the Seediq language. He has completed a lengthy study on the Mandarin-Seediq translation of the screenplay of Wei Te-Sheng’s film Warriors of The Rainbow: Seediq Bale (2011). His notable works include translations of The Man with the Compound Eyes and The Stolen Bicycle both by Wu Ming-Yi.



Taiwanese Bookshelves - Taiwan and Asia Queer Literature event will be partnered with The Bookshop Darlinghurst and held on 26th of October at Thai Nesia restaurant. Professor Heinrich and Scholar Baudinette will be invited to the event to share about the history of Queer Literature and discuss three well-known Taiwanese queer books, including The Membrane by Chi Ta-Wei, Last Words from Montmartre by Qiu Miaojin and Notes of a Desolate Man by Chu Tien-Wen.


Guest Speakers: Ari Larissa Heinrich

Heinrich received a master’s in Chinese literature from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Chinese studies from the University of California at Berkeley. He is best known for his academic writing on contemporary art and aesthetics, history of medicine, and queer studies. Heinrich also works in the translations of queer literature from Taiwan in the late 20th century, such as Qiu Miaojin’s Last Words from Montmartre (NYRB, 2014) and Chi Ta-Wei’s The Membranes (Columbia University Press, 2021).


Guest Speakers: Thomas Baudinette

Baudinette is a cultural anthropologist whose work focuses on how gender and sexuality impact popular cultures among queer communities in Japan. His study includes the exploration of the pan-Asian "idol" celebrity and the transnational spread of Boys Love media fandom in South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines. His first book, Regimes of Desire: Young Gay Men, Media, and Masculinity in Tokyo, will be published by the University of Michigan Press in late 2021.


“It’s the first time we are doing the hybrid film festival (cinema and online screenings) and also introduce the new section Taiwanese Bookshelves. We hope from this year, the programs can add some enjoyment to people's life." said Festival Director Benson Wu


Taiwan Film Festival in Australia is profoundly funded by Spotlight Taiwan and would like to acknowledge the generosity of our sponsors Ettason Ltd Pty, Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce in Australia, TECO Pty Ltd, and Australian Taiwanese Friendship Association, as well as the individuals and volunteers who have made this festival possible.