3-minute Coffee Egg Wins Million-dollar Collaboration Prize; Director Tao Lei Shares Thoughts About the Contest
3-minute Coffee Egg Wins Million-dollar Collaboration Prize; Director Tao Lei Shares Thoughts About the Contest - Taipei Film Commission
Organized by Chunghwa Telecom in conjunction with Taipei Film Commission and ELTA TV, the 2017 "MOD Micro & Short Film Contest" is now in its final stage of entry. Last year's million-dollar “Chunghwa Telecom Collaboration Prize” winner was the 3-minute short film titled Coffee Egg; its director, Tao Lei, is currently making a new short film, which will be screened during the award ceremony held in mid-November.
Tao Lei, director of Coffee Egg and winner of 2016 "MOD Micro & Short Film Contest" – “Top Selections” of the 3-Minute Golden Short Film category and the Chunghwa Telecom Collaboration Prize
Tao Lei began his career as a commercial and MV director. He started directing films after participating in A Journey in Reading, a program by Touch of Light Films Ltd. to adapt literature into video production. Coffee Egg was one of the three short films he directed for the 3-part series. After the film was made, Tao Lei eagerly explored opportunities to submit his work for contest. After considering the length of the film and the theme of contest, he chose to submit his work to "MOD Micro & Short Film Contest - Short Film Category" because of the Contest's goal of "encouraging new audiovisual creators." Coffee Egg not only won last year's "Chunghwa Telecom Collaboration Prize" and "Top Selections” of the 3-Minute Golden Short Film category, it also gave Tao Lei the first big win in his career.
Coffee Egg was adapted from the short story “Onion Tofu, Coffee Egg: The Two Memories About Breakfast” (unofficial) written by Wang Chieh. For the film, Tao Lei casted his real father and grandfather, and personally played the grandson who read newspapers to the grandfather. The film was praised by jury for the true emotions expressed throughout the film. Tao Lei said that it was a great challenge to capture the personality and change of emotion for the characters in a 3-minute clip. However, he also thought that it was because of the extremely short duration that makes storytelling more important than the story itself, which is why the "3-Minute Golden Short Film" category is a more suitable contest for students who lack funding and filmmakers who lack the time.
Coffee Egg is part of A Journey in Reading - a program for adapting literature into video production
Tao Lei casted his real grandfather to play the lead character in Coffee Egg
Tao Lei recalled, "The award ceremony was an unforgettable day to me, because at the time I was presented the CHT Collaboration Prize, I received a SMS from my family that grandmother had passed away." Although saddened by this news, he believes that his grandmother continues to watch over him. For a young creator such as Tao Lei, winning in a contest like this is an enormous encouragement as well as an excellent chance to shine.
Winners of 2016 "MOD Micro & Short Film Contest" revealed to the surprise and joy of Tao Lei
Having won the " Chunghwa Telecom Collaboration Prize" gave Tao Lei the much needed funding to make another creation. The short film he is currently working on tells the story of a newly-wed couple troubled by depression, and the doubts and fear that emerge from negativity. Through this film, Tao Lei hopes to persuade the audience to understand depression through compassion, without personal judgments. According to last year's contest rules, this new short film will be screened for the first time during the 2017 "MOD Micro & Short Film Contest" award ceremony held in mid-November this year.
2017 "MOD Micro & Short Film Contest," an event spearheaded by Chunghwa Telecom in conjunction with Taipei Film Commission and ELTA TV, will be closing its entry on September 1. This year's Contest is being held at an unprecedented scale with total prizes raised to NT$4.3 million. Apart from the million-dollar First Prize, the Contest also offers: the Chunghwa Telecom Collaboration Prize (NT$1 million), the ELTA Screenplay Collaboration Prize (NT$800,000), the Sundance Documentary Collaboration Prize (NT$300,000) and two new special prizes: the 4K Prize (NT$200,000) and the Best Animation Prize (NT$100,000). Participants may win up to NT$3 million alone! As an endorser, Kuo Shu-yau will be presenting the award during the award ceremony scheduled in mid-November. For more details, please visit the official website at http://mod.cht.com.tw/microfilm/ or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mod.microfilm/ .
[About the Director]
Tao Lei is a Taiwan-born, Turkey-raised screenwriter/director. He was exposed to several different cultures at a young age, and grew up watching stories of other countries. He is skilled at telling stories about humanity, sentiment and love, and is known for detailed and real portrayal of his characters. Tao Lei completed postgraduate program from Department of Film, ArtCenter College of Design in California. He favors a fantastic yet realistic style of storytelling, and introduces many dream-like elements into his creations that blur the boundary between fantasy and reality. He is currently a contracted director of LuckySparks Ltd., and makes mostly commercials, MVs and short films.
2016 MOD Micro & Short Film Contest – “Top Selections” of the 3-Minute Golden Short Film category and the Chunghwa Telecom Collaboration Prize
2016 Urban Nomad Film Fest - Best MV
2015 Urban Nomad Film Fest - Top-10 MV
2013 Kaohsiung Film Festival - nominated for short film contest