Online film festival showcases Taiwan classics, Ang Lee trilogy

English-language video streaming service Taiwan+ is showcasing Taiwan’s classic cinematic stories through its online “Taiwan+ Film Festival 2021,” which will run until the end of the year.


Taiwan+ decided to hold the film festival, featuring a selection of 10 movies including Golden Horse Film Festival awardees, to build more international awareness about Taiwan, the platform’s Chief Executive Officer Joanne Tsai (蔡秋安) said at a press conference in Taipei.


Awareness can be promoted because it links to the upcoming Golden Horse Awards, which is held in Taipei Saturday, she said.


The annual Golden Horse Awards, established in 1962, is considered one of the most prestigious film awards in the Chinese-language world. This year’s edition, the 58th Golden Horse Awards, will be held Saturday at the National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.


The 10 films were uploaded on Taiwan+’s website Nov. 15 and most are free to watch for viewers around the world until Dec. 31.

Among them is award-winning director Ang Lee’s “Father Knows Best” trilogy — Pushing Hands (1991), Eat Drink Man Woman (1994) and The Wedding Banquet (1993) — which features family tension and tender comedic moments.


However, these three movies will not be available to viewers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany, and France, according to Taiwan+.


The other seven films include some Taiwan classics, three of which are restored films. They include two cult favorite black and white movies from the Taiwan Hollywood era of the 1960s, The Fantasy of Deer Warrior (1961) and Vengeance of the Phoenix Sisters (1968).


The third restored film is Wheel of Life (1983), about the stories of three souls that continually metamorphose into different characters while continuing their twisted romance.


Taiwan needs more attention on the global stage and Taiwan+ aims to help achieve that, Tsai said, adding that the “+” in the platform’s name is about linking Taiwan with fields such as movies and music.


“With the Golden Horse Film Festival happening now, we feel we can start with movies, but as we are really young, everything is a first for us such as the Taiwan+ online film festival,” Tsai said.

At the press conference, Taiwan+ also showcased two short documentaries that the platform collaborated on with other organizations and filmmakers. The two shorts will be released during this week.


One of the shorts is an explainer video about the Golden Horse Awards, which was made in collaboration with online animation studio Taiwan Bar.


The other is a documentary about actress Patty Lee’s (李霈瑜) path to her best actress nomination in last year’s Golden Horse Awards for her role in coming-of-age romantic comedy My Missing Valentine.


In the comedy, Lee plays a young woman who has a dream and has a lot of ideas about movies, Tsai said, adding that the film portrays young people being courageous in chasing their dreams.


“More or less, this portrays Taiwan’s value. Taiwan is not a very large country with very plentiful rich resources, but we are very diversified and we have many invisible champions tucked away somewhere, which is in line with Taiwan+’s philosophy to showcase these stories to help the world get a better understanding of Taiwan,” Tsai said.


Taiwan+ was launched on Aug. 30 as the nation’s first English-language video news and programming platform aimed at an international audience.


Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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