Hou Hsiao-hsien Inspires Taiwanese Film Talents at Pre-Departure Press Conf. for Berlinale 2017
Hou Hsiao-hsien Inspires Taiwanese Film Talents at Pre-Departure Press Conf. for Berlinale 2017 - Taipei Film Commission
At the press conference: (from left) director Lau Kek-hat of Absent Without Leave; cinematographer Lin Ting-chieh, editor Jessica WanYu Lin, executive producer Hou Hsiao-hsien, and director Huang Hui-chen of Small Talk; actress Peggy Tseng, Rose & Melody Chiu, and director Wen Chih-yi of The Dress on Her; Secretary General Chen Chi-Ming of Ministry of Culture, Deputy Director Wu Chao-nan of Information Bureau of Taichung City Government, and Director Chen Pin-chuan of Taiwan Film Institute
As the 67th Berlin International Film Festival will draw its curtains on Feb. 9th, a pre-departure press conference for the Taiwanese filmmakers whose works have been selected by the Festival took place this afternoon (3rd) at SPOT Taipei. In attendance were director Huang Hui-chen of Small Talk, listed in the “Panorama” programme, the film’s executive producer Hou Hsiao-hsien, cinematographer Lin Ting-chieh, and editor Jessica Wan Yu Lin; director Lau Kek-hat, participant of the “Berlinale Talents” for his Absent Without Leave, and director Wen Chih-yi of The Dress on Her, shortlisted in “Generation Kplus Competition,” as well as the film’s main actress, Peggy Tseng and Melody Chiu. In addition, Secretary General Chen Chi-Ming of Ministry of Culture, Deputy Director Wu Chao-nan of Information Bureau of Taichung City Government, and Director Chen Pin-chuan of Taiwan Film Institute all came to wish these Taiwanese filmmakers a great great success.
Small Talk was listed in the “Panorama” programme. From left: editor Jessica WanYu Lin, executive producer Hou Hsiao-hsien, director Huang Hui-chen, and cinematographer Lin Ting-chieh.
Director Hou Hsiao-hsien, who plays the executive producer of Small Talk this time, encouraged the three young directors at the press conference. Hou felt gratified seeing director Huang Hui-chen and other directors of the younger generation embark on their journey to the west, describing it as a “long-missing revival” and an “initial step of Taiwanese cinema.” He believes the Berlinale is a great opportunity, and these youngsters will later move on to other international platforms in Nantes, Cannes, Venice, etc. as Hou himself did, inspiring local filmmakers to take part in the global stage.
Small Talk is director Huang Hui-chen’s first feature-length documentary, and her affectionate introspection on family relationships. The film has received the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2016 Golden Horse Festival, along with the nominations for Best Documentary and Best Editing Awards. It is also the first Taiwanese documentary to be selected by the “Panorama” programme, and will compete for the Teddy Award for Best Documentary/Essay Film. According to director Huang, she first met director Hou at an indigenous movement of San-Ying Tribe, which further led to the two’s cooperation. At the press conference, Huang expressed gratitude for Hou’s trust and support, announcing the theatrical release of Small Talk in April. After Small Talk, Huang will work with Hou again on a film about San-Ying Tribe.
Malaysian director Lau Kek-hat was selected by the 15th edition of “Berlinale Talents” for his first documentary, Absent Without Leave.
Malaysian director Lau Kek-hat’s first documentary Absent Without Leave centers on the Malaysian Communist diasporas, probing into the historical secrets that is still a taboo in Malaysia nowadays. Lau will join the 15th edition of “Berlinale Talents” and engage with professionals from international film circles. He had recently visited some of the Malaysian Communist victims, who were moved to learn this long-hidden history could be seen by the world. For Lau, he was grateful to depart from Taiwan to further introduce these stories to international audiences.
Shortlisted in the “Generation Kplus Competition” of the 67th Berlin International Film Festival and eligible to compete for the “Crystal Bear for the Best Short Film,” The Dress on Her is award winning director Wen Chih-yi’s latest work. Wen had won the Best Short Film Award at the 46th Golden Horse Film Festival with her work Sleeping with Her; this time, starring Wen’s favorite actress Peggy Tseng and popular child actresses Melody Chiu and Rose Yu, The Dress on Her tells the story of how the innocent friendship between two primary school girls falls apart as they gradually learn the realities in adults’ world. Wen was happy for the production team’s results. She found it challenging to work with child actresses because being too absorbed in the plot might influence their mental health; therefore, Wen often had to consult with the performance teacher. Actress Peggy Tseng thanked director Wen for casting her in most works. She was convinced by Wen’s ability to interpret everyday stories from her unique perspective, and joked that she had prepared lovely dresses to amaze the audience at the Berlinale.
The Dress on Her was selected into the “Generation Kplus Competition” of the 67th Berlin International Film Festival. From left: Peggy Tseng, Melody Chiu, and director Wen Chih-yi.
The 67th Berlin International Film Festival will run from the 9th to 19th of February, whereas the European Film Market will take place from the 9th to 17th. This year, 79 Taiwanese films are included, ranging from 25 features, 18 documentaries, 7 shorts, 4 animations, 12 digitally restored classics, to 13 film projects; a total of 17 Taiwanese distributing companies are also attending the event. (Article/ Sophie Wong; Photography/ May Wen)