Preview: Scene Taiwan Film Festival

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Credit: Scene Taiwan Film Festival

Kuang-Ping Liu
Writer

A handpicked selection of Taiwanese films coming to Edinburgh

7 days, 6 screenings and 2 special events: the first edition of Scene Taiwan Film Festival (STFF) is coming to Edinburgh in June. The festival has carefully curated a programme ranging from traditional art, cinema auteur, animal protection to indigenous culture and social movement. As a newborn film festival, we are flattered to have director Yang Li-chiu, Fu Yue and musician Suming join us as we kick off. After a warm-up documentary masterclass with director Yang Li-chou, we will screen his latest work Father (2017) as our opening film, which follows the fading art of Taiwanese traditional puppetry, and an entangled father and son relationship. Following this, a documentary about the endangered Formosan Black Bear, Black Forest (2016) explores the beautiful Taiwanese mountains whilst demonstrating how scientists in Taiwan work tirelessly in an attempt to protect the indigenous wildlife. To continue the narratives in Father, we will screen cinema auteur Hou Hsiou-hsien’s Cannes Jury Award winning The Puppetmaster (1993) as the mid-festival highlight.

Coming to the second half of the festival, The Age of Awakening (2018) tells the history and change of the Taiwanese environmental movements over 30 years, showing how people fight against consortiums to save their beloved hometown from industrial pollution. As for our closing film, we will be screening the politically controversial documentary Our Youth in Taiwan (2018). It documents and explores one of the most important political movements in Taiwan – the Sunflower Student Movement – which took place in 2014 to protest against the ruling government signing a treaty with the Chinese government. The movement successfully stopped the trade pact and since then has changed many young people’s attitude towards politics.

To end the festival, we are going to host a special short film programme about Taiwanese indigenous people in order to correspond with our closing concert where musician singer-songwriter Suming will perform.

As the Taiwan Film Festival UK successfully wrapped up in London this April, STFF will continue on to Edinburgh and allow more audiences to see the diversity of Taiwanese cinema.