Taiwan Films in the 12th Annual New York Asian Film Festival

Article by Michelle Xia
Photo by Niko

July 6th, 2013, Lincoln Center Film Society hosted a press conference featuring Taiwanese directors to better understand the some movies selected in the annual New York Asian Film Festival. This festival was to share the passion for Asian cinema to the New York audience by discovering and exposing classic genres. The conference called upon a few Taiwanese directors to represent Taiwanese culture as well as to introduce the Black Taiwanese films. Directors Aozaru Hsino, Huo Chi Jan, and Tsai Yang-Ming formed the panel.

“[It’s] a great honor for us to collaborate with NYCAFF,” said the Taiwan Ambassador, Andrew Kao, as he was starting off the event.

These selected Taiwanese directors explained how their passion for film came about to the news reporters. Directed over 70 films in the past 50 years, Tsai Yang-Ming’s love for movies began when he was the manager of a local theater in Taiwan. Through some of the benefits of his job, he was able to watch many films from all over the world. Inspired by the ideology from Hollywood films, he tries to incorporate the essence of “hope” and heroic characters into his pieces. Tsai Yang-Ming was awarded the best screenplay award for Never Too Late to Repent at this film festival.

Tsai Yang-Ming

For Huo Chi Jan, director of When a Wolf Falls in Love With a Sheep, the love for film flourished out of boredom. Constantly working for his parents at their suitcase business, Huo Chi Jan has only about two hours of free time a day. He decides to invest his free time watching movies at the movie theater. As movies filled the empty void in his schedule, he makes movies in hopes for them to be the same for others who have two hours to spare.

Huo Chi Jan

Aozaru Hsino, director of Forever Love, simply wanted to transform the stories from novels to motion picture. Growing up, Hsino enjoyed watching American and Japanese anime. Intrigued by the moving images, he strives to do the same with his favorite books.

Aozaru Hsino

Questions for potential future collaboration with Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong film industries were brought to the panel. Tsai encourages this combination of arts due to the ability to share utilities and ideas. He further argues that film is a form of art that should disregard politics and other ongoing disputes. Tsai also believes that within ten years, the film industry in both China and Taiwan will be more accepting of each other’s film pieces.

This conference concluded with advice for the new striving film directors. Tsai encouraged ambitious future directors to have experience in the field as an assistant director for at least two years. Tsai himself is working on multiple projects and hired six assistant directors for this sole purpose. Through Tsai’s guidance and experience, he wants to pass down his knowledge to his assistant directors, mentoring those who have a passion for cinema.

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