written by Simon Yang and Dale Wu, translated by Helen Stenbeck
2021 Taiwan Film Festival in Australia has kicked off on 16th September with a banquet launch party, which started with Taiwanese punk rock band Pa-Pun to stir up the atmosphere for the night. Halfway through, followed by Aoi Band, nominated for Best Taiwanese Album at Golden Melody Award in 2021, the stunning vocal with the mix of rock and electronic music genres has received massive praise on the night. DJ Dizparity set up a half-hour of vibrant techno performance that indeed turns everyone's living room into a nightclub to end the event. You can re-watch Aoi band and DJ Dizparity's performances on the Taiwan Film Festival in Australia streaming on-demand site for free.
Festival Director Benson Wu said: "This is a major achievement and encouragement for our team, as well as acknowledging the Taiwanese arts and cultures. We are firm believers that the festival is on the right track in promoting diverse values that make us proud."
But the highlight is undoubtedly this year's Short Film Competition Winner. This year's competition juries are Programme Consultant for Hong Kong International Film Festival Kiki Fung, My Missing Valentine (2020) director Chen Yu-Hsun, and The Tree Remembers (2019) director Lau Kek Huat. Through the expertise of the industry judges, the festival announced this year's Short Film Competition winner is The Quiet by Radheya Jegatheva.
Juries and directors Lau Kek Huat and Chen Yu-Hsun said: "The Quiet is a film with outstanding narratives and extortionary creativity on image presentations. Mild poignant and depressive style with an explosive conclusion grasped audiences' attention to the end."
Director Radheya collaborated with his father on The Quiet. The film's beginning seems to be a plain monologue by an astronaut, but it goes beyond the single-person narrative. Radheya combined mundane everyday sounds into the inaudible outer space, adding richness to the story. Radheya's father, Jay Jay; his vigorous deep voice has taken the film towards the climax scene that one would least be expected.
Director Radheya thanked his father, who didn't have any film expertise and had little ideas about the film production process. Jay Jay was willing to try to understand and learn for his son. With the support and encouragement from his father, Radheya hopes that they will continue to work hard and produce more excellent works in the future.
Due to the current COVID19 restrictions, viewings at the cinema are unavailable. The festival organizer had pushed the boundaries to produce an elaborated list of films for the Australian audiences to taste the wonders of Taiwanese films online from 16th September to 30th September.
The festival will be holding an online conversation on 23rd September at 9:00 pm, with the directors of The Way Home: The Call of The Azangilijan and The Tree Remembers. The event will talk about their journey of making the documentaries and the importance of the history and value of the native land and human rights.
On 23rd October, the festival will be holding the event "Taiwanese Bookshelf – Taiwan and Asian Queer Literature" in collaboration with the well-known LGBTIQ+ bookstore: The Bookshop Darlinghurst. We will be welcoming Professor Ari Arissa Heinrich from ANU and anthropologist Thomas Baudinette from Macquarie University. To discuss the history of Asian queer literature and the Taiwanese book "The Membrane" by Chi Da-Wei.
Taiwan Film Festival in Australia is funded by the City of Sydney, NSW Government and Spotlight Taiwan and would like to acknowledge the generosity of our sponsors Ettason Ltd Pty, Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce in Australia, TECO Pty Ltd, Newepoch Telecommunication, and Australian Taiwanese Friendship Association, as well as the individuals and volunteers who have made this festival possible.