Wednesday, September 3, 2008

From our presenters

Redemption Captured on Film

Thank you for joining us for the 2008 Taiwan Film Festival (TFF). The 2008 TFF builds on the success of the previous film festivals by again presenting the many facets of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Prepare yourselves for a cultural feast exploring youthful trials and redemption.

While international audiences have associated Taiwanese films with long camera shots and a minimum of dialogue as embodied in the films of Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Tsai Ming-Liang and Edward Yang films, many emerging Taiwanese directors are breaking new ground by incorporating more modern and popular approaches to filmmaking.

In 2006, TFF screened movies showing the evolution of Taiwanese cinema in new directions, moving beyond the New Wave. In 2007, we continued to showcase young and upcoming film directors who created independent, documentary and experimental films that challenged comfort levels and typical global impressions of Taiwan.

This year, TFF will again bring you some of the islands' best feature and documentary films focusing on youth and redemption. Whether about a gangster trying to "purge the guilt in his heart" in the Gangster's God or troubled souls journeying around the island in The Most Distant Course, these stories explore their young lives and how they find redemption. While the theme of "youth and redemption" is not uncommon, these stories serve as a window to a society rarely seen outside of Taiwan.

To compliment the films, we again welcome some of the filmmakers themselves from Taiwan, including Cheng Wen-Tang, Lin Jing-Jie, Ho Chao-Ti and Lin Yu-hsien. They will tour with the films, participating in post-screening Q&As at the five venues. Aside from the invited directors, this year's program will also include singer Enno Cheng, the leading actress of Summer's Tail and the movies' composer, Yeh Wan-Ching (KK). They will perform at the opening receptions at several participating universities.

We welcome you to the 2008 TFF and hope you enjoy the breadth of this year's selections.


Hwalin Lee - Ph.D., Chairman, Chuan-Lyu Foundation

Tony Ong - Director, Press Division, Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in San Francisco

N. Bruce Pickering - Executive Director, Asia Society Northern California


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