Straddling the line between the mainstream and the arthouse, the Taipei International Film Festival has announced an eclectic program for its 19th edition (June 29-July 15).
The festival previously announced that it will open with Huang Hsin-yao’s The Great Buddha+ (大佛) and close with documentary Manfei (曼菲). Both films are competing in the festival’s annual Taipei Film Awards competition.
The festival’s program also includes a strong presence of southeast Asian films by up-and-coming filmmakers in its Future Lights program, including The Philippines’ Birdshot, splatter horror KFC, Malaysia/The Philippines’ Singing in Graveyards and the restored version of 1956 Indonesian film Three Maidens.
In addition to a retrospective of films scored by composer Lim Giong, the festival is also hosting Hong Kong’s Ann Hui as this year’s special guest. In addition to Hui’s latest film Our Time Will Come (明月幾時有), the festival will also screen the newly restored version The Secret (瘋劫) with a special seminar featuring Hui.
Hong Kong’s independent cinema is also the focus of the festival’s Asian Prism program. The selections include the newly restored version of Made in Hong Kong (香港製造), Rita Hui’s Pseudo Secular (風景) and the international premiere of controversial documentary Vanished Archives (消失的檔案), about the 1967 leftist riots.
The presence of television at film festivals have spurred a global television vs cinema debate, and Taipei is following the trend with the world premieres of two local television series: the second season of Cheng Yu-chieh’s schoolyard drama Days We Stared at the Sun (他們在畢業的前一天爆炸) and the second season of medical drama Wake Up (麻醉風暴). The festival is screening only the first episode of the respective shows, produced by Taiwan’s Public Television Service.
Cheng had edited a 110-minute feature film version of Days We Stared at the Sun‘s first season for theatrical and film festival release.
This year’s filmmaker in focus is Italy’s Yuri Ancarani. The festival will host the Asian premiere of his feature film debut The Challenge and his six short films. Ancarani will also hold a seminar on July 9th.
Renowned film critic, PCHome founder and film producer Jan Hung-tze will receive this year’s lifetime achievement award for his important role in the New Taiwan Cinema movement and his work as a film critic.