Taiwanese animation wins Sundance Film Festival’s short film award

Taiwanese director Joe Hsieh's (???) animated film, "Night Bus," has won the Short Film Jury Award at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival to become the first Taiwanese work to earn a Sundance award honoring outstanding independent productions.

"With its deft handling of film noir sensibilities, well-rounded storytelling, suspense and deeply crafted characters, this film takes us on a ride figuratively and literally," Sundance Festival juror Kevin Jerome Everson said in announcing the award.

The 20-minute thriller animation, which tells the story of a theft on a running bus along Taiwan's coast and a subsequent fatal accident, previously took home the Grand Prix of short films at Animafest Zagreb in Croatia in June last year.

"What a big surprise. It's definitely a great honor," Hsieh said after being named the winner. "I would like to thank Taiwan because Taiwan always gives me so much inspiration to make animation."

Over one third of the dialogue in "Night Bus" is in the Taiwanese dialect of Hoklo, which the director said was adopted to reflect real life in Taiwan.

"The dialect's unique nature rhyme and sound adds emotions and charm to the animation," he said on a previous occasion.

"Night Bus" also earned a Golden Horse Award -- Taiwan's equivalent of the Academy Awards -- in 2020, and a Special Jury Mention at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France in February 2021.

The animation has also gained plaudits from renowned Taiwanese-American film director Ang Lee (??), who described Hsieh as a "one-of-a-kind Taiwanese animation talent whose works explode with artistry and eccentricity."

The Sundance Film Festival, one of the largest independent film festivals in the world, is being held Jan. 20-30 online and on satellite screens across the United States.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel