Congratulation to this year's Short Film Competition winner Unnamed directed by Chang Chun-Yu and Gao Hong. The story starts with Zhang Ya-Ting wants to switch to a gender-neutral name. She goes to her best friend Hong Jia-Hao but interrupts him in the middle of hooking up with someone from a dating app. The production of the film took 5 days to shoot, but the script took them one year to complete and another half year in the post-production.
This year's competition juries, Hsiao Ya-Chuan (Father to Son, Taipei Exchange, and Mirror Image), Maya Newell (Gayby Baby, In My Blood It Runs), and Sally Wu (The Good Daughter, Country Boys) to select the winner from the 4 finalists from the competition.
The other 3 finalists are Lipstick, Be Shit or Not to Be, and A-Tien. Festival Director Benson Wu says “I'm really excited to see so many young Taiwanese filmmakers rising. The competition result came close as they were all pretty outstanding. But Unnamed stand out the most to our juries cause the unique storytelling."
“I thought the films were of high calibre, as well as being entertaining, cinematic and politically important stories to tell. It was hard to pick one winner, but ultimately we chose Unnamed for the nuanced complexity of the script, characterisation and direction. I enjoyed the tangled closeness between these two leads, the exploration of the tension between older and younger generations, the unsettled-ness of youth, the examination of identity and murkiness of sexuality. I thought these themes were cleverly woven frictions and liked that they were wisely not wrapped up, instead offering a depiction of humanity in all its uncertainty. For the same reason, I particularly loved the elegant and surprising ending - it simply put the story together without offering a neat resolve." - Maya Newell
Unnamed directed by Chang Chun-Yu 張均瑜 and Hong Gao 洪德高
“All four of them successfully transcend the filmmakers' thoughtful observation and depiction of a slice of life they are interested in. Each of them propels me to want more than what's in the film, whether it's about a social issue or a character. In the end, Unnamed has the best execution of directing and acting, and its nuanced relationship portraiture stood out the most." - Sally Wu
A-Tien directed by Robby Sun 孫悅慈
Robby graduated from New York Film School - Los Angeles Branch, A-Tien is her graduation work. She wanted to embed some Taiwanese cultures in the film and thought Taxi driver would be perfect. When talks about the creative process, Robby always look at social issues for inspiration. “For me, it's not about pleasing the audiences, but be a storyteller to point some of the social issues," said Robby Sun.
Lipstick directed by Etsen Chen 陳彥廷, Nuhash Humayun, Kawakibi Muttaqien, Wang Xixi
Lipstick was one of the work from the 2019 Busan Asian Film School, talks gender identities and bullied cultures. Director Etsen says “this film is also my tribute to Ye Yong-Zhi who had the exactly the same experience as the character in the film. But the film is made specially in Busan so you will also see at the end the film also pay tribute to Yun Hyon-Seok who was an LGBT activist but ended his life in 2003."
In this film school, there were 4 directors and 4 cinematographers for Lipstick. In pre-production, we came to a pretty quick conclusion that this film will be linear storytelling and require everyone to provide storyboard a day before filming. “I also want to use a certain subject that represents a particular cultural, so I choose fried-chicken especially to break the stereotype of value on what's beauty in the LGBTQ+ culture," said Etsen.