15 Films you cannot miss at the 22nd Taipei Film Festival

taipeifilmfest2020filmsThese are fifteen films you shouldn’t miss at the 22nd Taipei Film Festival which will take place from June 25th until July 11th, in Taipei, Taiwan.

About the festival:
The inaugural Taipei Film Festival was held in 1998, with the awards portion of the Festival founded in 1988 as the “China Times Express Film Awards” and renamed the “Taipei Film Awards” in 1994. Originally, nominations and awards were separated into commercial and non-commercial film categories to highlight the spirit of independent, non-mainstream cinema and to uncover a diverse range of films. Taipei City Government came on board in 1998, creating the festival by hosting the Taipei Film Awards and adding its NT$1 million “Grand Prize,” and facilitating the screening of international films. In so doing, Taipei Film Festival became the first film festival in Taiwan to be funded by a city government. The Taipei Film Festival became a permanent office under the Taipei Culture Foundation beginning in 2007. Held annually in the summer, the Festival also conducts numerous film-related activities in addition to the awards competition and film screenings to increase public participation.

Selected Films:

Ainu Mosir

Ainu Mosir by Fukunaga Takeshi – Japan, US, China | 2020 – 84 minutes
International New Talent Competition

The Ainu are the indigenous people who primarily live in Hokkaido in northern Japan and have a unique philosophy and culture deeply rooted in nature.

Kanto, a fourteen-year-old boy and a descendant of the Ainu, struggles to come to terms with the recent loss of his father. One day, he learns about the small hole in the cliff in the nearby forest that the Ainu consider a path to the other side of the world where the dead people live. Kanto decides to visit the hole, hoping to see his deceased father.

June 28th, 2020 | Sunday | Taipei Zhongshan Hall | 13:40 pm
July 2nd, 2020 | Thursday | Taipei Zhongshan Hall | 16:40 pm
July 5th, 2020 | Sunday | Vie Show Hsinyi 13 | 10:20 am
July 7th, 2020 | Tuesday | Vie Show Hsinyi 13 | 16:00 pm




An Old Lady

An Old Lady by Lim Sun-ae – South Korea | 2019 – 100 minutes
Future Lights Section

Hyo-jeong, a 69-year-old woman, is raped by a male nurse aide. She tells Dong-in, who lives with her, about it and reports to the police. However, only few people, including the police, are willing to believe her account. Most people question whether that handsome young man really would have done such a thing. Only Dong-in, who loves Hyo-jeong dearly, is trying to comfort her, easing her feeling of injustice but even he himself finds it difficult to believe her.

Meanwhile, the male nurse aide claims that it was a consensual sexual relationship and the court rejects the warrant for his arrest. Now Hyo-jeong is up to a plan by herself.

June 29th, 2020 | Monday | Vie Show Hsinyi 14 | 12:40 pm
July 2nd, 2020 | Thursday | Vie Show Hsinyi 14 | 13:20 pm
July 4th, 2020 | Saturday | Vie Show Hsinyi 13 | 21:40 pm





Balloon by Pema Tseden – China | 2019 – 102 minutes
Visions Section

On the Tibetan grasslands, Dargye and Drolkar lead a serene life with their three sons and Dargye’s father. The death of Dargye’s father throws the whole family into sorrow, but soon Dargye and Drolkar are caught unawares by an unexpected pregnancy.

A subtle conflict arises between the two as Drolkar is concerned about having another baby due to China’s birth control policy, while Dargye believes that the baby is the reincarnation of his father. Because of their faith, death makes them think about what is more important between life and death, spirit and reality.

June 27th, 2020 | Saturday | Vie Show Hsinyi 13 | 20:40 pm
July 1st, 2020 | Wednesday | Vie Show Hsinyi 13 | 21:50 pm
July 3rd, 2020 | Friday | Vie Show Hsinyi 13 | 12:20 pm





Boluomi by Lau Kek Huat – Taiwan | 2019 – 109 minutes
Taipei Film awards – Narrative Features

Over the decades, the Malayan Communist Party fought a guerrilla war in the jungle for independence. When a baby was born during the war, they sent it out of the jungle to ensure its survival. Boluomi is one of those babies.

July 5th, 2020 | Sunday | Vie Show Hsinyi 14 | 16:40 pm




Dear Tenant

Dear Tenant by Cheng Yu-chieh – Taiwan | 2020 – 106 minutes
Taipei Film Awards – Narrative Features

For the past five years, Lin has been looking after his elderly landlord(Mrs. Chou) and her grandson (Yo-yu). They live together like a family, and it is Lin’s way of remembering someone. But when Mrs. Chou passes away, her son (Li-gang) returns from overseas and discovers that Mrs. Chou’s property is passed on to Yo-yu, who has been legally adopted by Lin. Li-gang accuses Lin of killing his mother. As the ensuing investigation continues, more and more evidence mounts against Lin…

July 4th, 2020 | Saturday | Taipei Zhongshan Hall | 19:20 pm
July 8th, 2020 | Wednesday | Vie Show Hsinyi 14 | 19:00 pm





Detention by John Hsu – Taiwan | 2019 – 103 minutes
Taipei Film Awards – Narrative Features

In 1962, a sense of desolation and tension permeates the society. Fang, a twelfth grader at Tsuihua Senior High School, falls in love with Zhang, a counselling teacher. Troubled by the problems at school and home, Fang feels that Zhang is the only person who understands her. Longing for freedom, Zhang forms a study group with his colleagues and students, including Yin and Wei. Reading the banned books allows them to be liberated briefly but also puts their lives in danger. One day, Zhang vanishes into thin air, and only Fang and Wei remember him. Together, Fang and Wei start looking for the disappeared teacher but find the school gradually slipping out of the world they are familiar with. Then in a realm dominated by ghosts and spirits, the pair are forced to face the terrifying truth…

July 3rd, 2020 | Friday | Vie Show Hsinyi 14 | 14:00 pm




Lucky Monster

Lucky Monster by Bong Joon-young – South Korea | 2019 – 93 minutes
Wild Tales Section

Hapless Maeng-su has had a run of bad luck, which started pretty much at his birth. The one good thing in his life is his inscrutable wife Ria. When Maeng-su finds his debts to a loan shark spiralling, he orchestrates a fake divorce to protect her from the ruthless collectors who threaten her safety.

But then his luck suddenly changes. As his last chance, he gambles with his lucky numbers and wins the lottery. To share this good news, he calls his wife but cannot reach her. With this new superpower called ‘money’, he searches for his wife with troubleshooters.

June 28th, 2020 | Sunday | SPOT HUASHAN Cinema A Two | 15:10 pm
July 1st, 2020 | Wednesday | SPOT HUASHAN Cinema A Two | 16:10 pm
July 2nd, 2020 | Thursday | Vie Show Hsinyi 13 | 16:40 pm
July 5th, 2020 | Sunday | Vie Show Hsinyi 13 | 21:30 pm





Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom by Pawo Choyning Dorji – Bhutan | 2019 – 109 minutes
Asian Prism Section

A young teacher in modern Bhutan, Ugyen, shirks his duties while planning to go to Australia to become a singer. As a reprimand, his superiors send him to the most remote school in the world, in a village called Lunana, to complete his service. He finds himself exiled from his Westernized comforts after an arduous 8-day trek just to get there. There he finds no electricity, no textbooks, not even a blackboard. Though poor, the villagers extend a warm welcome to their new teacher, but he faces the daunting task of teaching the village children without any supplies. He wants to quit and go home, but he begins to learn of the hardship in the lives of the beautiful children he teaches and to be transformed through the amazing spiritual strength of the villagers.

July 4th, 2020 | Saturday | SPOT HUASHAN Cinema A Two | 12:00 pm
July 8th, 2020 | Wednesday | SPOT HUASHAN Cinema A Two | 19:40 pm




Me and My Condemned

Me and My Condemned Son by Lee Chia-hua – Taiwan | 2019 – 75 minutes
Taipei Film Awards – Documentaries

The film centres around three condemned prisoners who committed different crimes; with one still serving his sentence, one who has taken his own life in prison, and one already executed. Consisting of unembellished interviews and news footage, the film shows the director’s concern for the condemned prisoners and their families as human beings, examining the contemporary history of capital punishment in Taiwan and questioning the current judicial system.

July 6th, 2020 | Monday | Vie Show Hsinyi 14 | 19:30 pm




Nina Wu

Nina Wu by Midi Z – Taiwan, Malaysia, Myanmar | 2019 – 103 minutes
Taipei Film Awards – Narrative Features

After eight years toiling in bit-parts, aspiring actress Nina Wu finally gets her big break with a leading role in a spy thriller set in the 1960s. The part is challenging because it calls explicit sex scenes and the director is hard on her. But both the industry and the press are confident that the results are sensationally good. On the brink of triumph, though, Nina’s psychological resolve begins to crack. She rushes back to her family home to deal with two crises and dreams of rekindling a close friendship with her childhood friend Kiki. Meanwhile, she is haunted by paranoid fantasies that a mysterious woman is stalking and attacking her. As Nina clings to the memories of happier times, it seems that there is one crucial memory she is repressing…

July 9th, 2020 | Thursday | Vie Show Hsinyi 14 | 13:30 pm




Silent Rain

Silent Rain by Nakagawa Ryutaro – Japan | 2019 – 99 minutes
Asian Prism Section

Young bioarchaeologist Yukisuke is attracted to a girl called Koyomi. She runs a small stand which sells taiyaki pastry and Yukisuke is a regular customer.

However, Koyomi has a car accident on a rainy day after they go out together and is rushed to the hospital. She wakes up with short term memory loss, showing that she cannot remember anything beyond the present day. Yukisuke tries to stay close to her as before but the lack of collective memory starts to stagger him.

June 26th, 2020 | Friday | Vie Show Hsinyi 13 | 18:40 pm
June 28th, 2020 | Sunday | Vie Show Hsinyi 13 | 13:20 pm
July 6th, 2020 | Monday | Taipei Zhongshan Hall | 14:00 pm
July 7th, 2020 | Tuesday | Taipei Zhongshan Hall | 19:40 pm




The Reason Why Im Home

The Reason Why I´m Home by Chang Ming-yu – Taiwan | 2019 – 74 minutes
Taipei Film Awards – Documentaries

In Changhua, Taiwan in 2013, an incident occurred regarding a mother brutally killing her son due to the influence of the Riyue Minggong (a cult). This situation made the daughter of the convict return home to face her broken family. At the same time, without knowing where she stands in the extended family and what it means to be family, the daughter is confronted with uncertainties and has no idea how to begin rebuilding her once beautiful home.

July 3rd, 2020 | Friday | Vie Show Hsinyi 14 | 19:40 pm
July 6th, 2020 | Monday | Vie Show Hsinyi 14 | 17:00 pm




The Way Home

The Way Home by Wei Yu-chen – Taiwan | 2020 – 78 minutes
Taipei Film Awards – Documentaries

Dremedrema is the chief heir of her tribe. Being the eldest, she therefore, must accept her inheritance of the position and status according to the traditions. Though her mother and children hope that she would disavow the obligation. Even Dremedrema herself had run away from her tribe once. Many family members have their eyes on the position, but her ancestral spirits would not give up on her. She is a tribal chief who doesn’t speak the native tongue. At the same time she is a devoted single mother of three. She is a chief without her traditional tribal family house, unable to live within the tribe. She misses home. But despite ten years’ effort, it is a home that she cannot easily return to.

June 26th, 2020 | Friday | Vie Show Hsinyi 14 | 17:40 pm
July 8th, 2020 | Wednesday | Vie Show Hsinyi 14 | 16:30 pm




Voices in the Wind

Voices in the wind by Suwa Nabuhiro – Japan | 2020 – 139 minutes
Asian Prism Section

The Great East Earthquake hit the northern part of Japan in 2011 and the tsunami took Haru’s entire family when she was nine years old. Now she is 17 and lives with her aunt in Hiroshima, far away from her hometown, Otsuchi. When coming home from school one day, she finds her aunt lying unconscious on the kitchen floor. Looking at her aunt in a coma in the hospital, Haru suddenly has a feeling that she might lose everyone she loves and an urge to hitchhike back to Otsuchi.

June 29th, 2020 | Monday | Taipei Zhongshan Hall | 19:20 pm
July 1st, 2020 | Wednesday | Taipei Zhongshan Hall | 15:50 pm
July 5th, 2020 | Sunday | Taipei Zhongshan Hall | 13:50 pm




Your Name Engraved

Your Name Engraved Herein by Patrick Liu – Taiwan | 2020 – 11 minutes
Taipei Film Awards – Narrative Features

In 1987, Taiwan is liberated from martial law. A-Han, a shy boy, meets a bohemian boy named Birdy. Enjoying their adventures together, they share many secrets and develop a relationship beyond friendship.

Then the school starts recruiting girls. Birdy tries to distract himself by dating a girl, breaking A-Han’s heart. However, A-Han cannot face how he feels about Birdy and often goes to the priest to confess his real feelings. As the relationship between the two young boys becomes more confusing and also due to the misunderstanding of Birdy’s plan, they keep some distance from each other. After they graduate, they slowly drift apart…

Thirty years later, when the trio meet again, how will they face each other with their complicated feelings?

July 5th, 2020 | Sunday | Vie Show Hsinyi 14 | 19:40 pm




For more information about the festival please visit the official website: HERE

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