Taiwan comes to SA cinemas

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Cinema Nouveau screened by Fish Eagle will host the Taiwan Film Festival which runs from 12 to 18 September in Johannesburg (Rosebank Nouveau) and 19 to 25 September in Cape Town (V&A Waterfront Nouveau). The Festival is presented by the Taipei Liaison Office.

Oscar-winning director Ang Lee, will showcase Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon alongside an impressive list of leading Taiwanese female directors, which includes the likes of Singing Chen, Professor Yu-shan Huang, Zero Chou and Wen-chen Tseng.

Singing Chen participated in the 29th Durban International Film Festival, where her film God Man Dog just won the award for the Best Screenplay. This unconventional film explores the way in which people’s lives converge in the aftermath of a fateful accident.

Professor Huang is perhaps one of the most underrated directors in Chinese-language cinema with a career that spans a quarter century, going back to 1983 when she made first film Ju Ming, a 15 minute documentary about a Taiwanese sculptor. Huang’s The Song of Chatain Mountain depicts the intellectual tyranny of Taiwan’s Japanese occupiers during the Second World War.

Taiwanese filmmaker Zero Chou is a former journalist who made her first movie in 1996 while still studying at university. Chou has been proclaimed as one of the most talented documentary filmmakers that Taiwan has produced in recent years. She is also one of the world’s few openly lesbian filmmakers and her new feature, Spider Lilies, tells the story of two young women who rekindle a dormant love for each other.

Wen-chen Tseng is a young director whose film about a Taiwanese labor activist, Spring: the Story of Hsu Chin-Yu, won the Award for the best documentary at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Film Festival in 2002. Tseng’s later documentary Madame Chiang Kai-shek produced for Taiwan Public Television has also received wide acclaim and tops best-seller lists. Tseng’s debut feature Fishing Luck, to be screened this festival, is a romantic comedy set on a small tropical island off the south-east coast of Taiwan.

Perhaps the most inspired offering this festival is Yu-hsien Lin’s documentary Jump! Boys. Lin started off his career making television commercials but soon developed a flair for directing dramas and documentaries about contemporary Taiwan. His film Jump! Boys shows that some dreams do indeed come true; seven school boys have a strong passion for gymnastics and this leads them to Taiwan’s national championship competition.

Entrance to the festival is free and tickets may be redeemed an hour before each screening, which will take place every evening at 17h30 and 20h15.
For more info please log on to: www.sterkinekor.com for screening details on the film festival.

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