For its 2023 event, the 7th Taiwan Film Festival in Brisbane launched four Taiwanese films – one Taiwanese puppet animation, one drama portraying indigenous people, and two documentaries – at Hoyts Cinemas Sunnybank on 28 Oct. By bringing the vivid and dynamic Taiwanese culture and history to the big screen, the four featuring films received raves and applause from the audience.
“Our mission is to promote Taiwanese culture through cinematic art,” said Kaijung Yu, CEO of Taiwan Film Festival in Brisbane, “presenting Taiwan’s profound history, abundant nature, contemporary social issues and people to the Australian audience as part of our celebration to multi-culturalism.”
The opening film, Demigod: The Legend Begins, is a fantasy animation film featuring the unique puppetry art of Taiwan. With its unbelievable camera staging and mind-blowing battle choreography, this 2022 award-winning film incorporates action, adventure, and romance in its Marvel-like universe of puppet versions.
“Remember Me,” the documentary that followed, explores the stories of three residents on Quemoy (or Kinmen, the tiny island close to Mainland China) and how they reflect upon the upheavals between the two sides of Taiwan Strait. “A Letter to Ama,” the other documentary that took 10 years to finish, leads the audience to dive into a journey of constructing the collective memory of Taiwan. The film’s artistic approach and depth of emotions moved many viewers to tears. “I loved how it was able to incorporate history, culture, perspective and knowledge in such intimate depth. It was very touching,” a comment left by a young viewer in the survey.
Written, directed and played by indigenous people, the closing film “Gaga” portrays a Taiwanese indigenous family, the members’ relationship, struggles, and dilemmas between adapting to the modern world and keeping the ancestors’ doctrine. “Very sad, but beautiful,” commented a viewer after the screening.
Taiwan Film Festival in Brisbane is hosted and organized by World Arts & Multi-culture Inc. “We just do our best to bring Taiwanese culture here,” commented Melody Chen, the association’s Founding President.