Mayor Ko Wen-je Appeared at The Great Buddha+ Premiere in Support of Taiwanese Films
Mayor Ko Wen-je Appeared at The Great Buddha+ Premiere in Support of Taiwanese Films - Taipei Film Commission
Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (2nd from left) made a special appearance at the premiere of The Great Buddha+ to show his support for Taiwanese films. 1st on the left: producer Chung Mong-hong; from right: actor Bamboo Chu-Sheng Chen and director Huang Hsin-yao
Having won 5 major awards including the million-dollar first prize during 2017 Taipei Film Festival and received the highest number of nominations (10 in total) in the upcoming Golden Horse Awards, The Great Buddha+ is undoubtedly the most successful local film this year in terms of awards. On the evening of the 11th, Taipei Culture Foundation and Taipei Film Commission (TFC) held a premiere screening session for The Great Buddha+ at Eslite Art House, during which Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je also appeared in person to show support for Taiwanese films. During the premiere, Mayor Ko greeted the production team and the audience, whereas Secretary General Lin Chin-chang of General Association of Chinese Culture, Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Chung Yung-feng, and Taipei Culture Foundation Deputy CEO Chang Yi-shan also joined the screening. The audience was excited to see the mayor appear in person.
Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (center) joined Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Chung Yung-feng (left) and Secretary General Lin Chin-chang of General Association of Chinese Culture (right) for the screening; Taipei Culture Foundation Deputy CEO Chang Yi-shan (top-right, waving) also appeared in support of the event.
During the premiere ceremony, director Huang Hsin-yao, executive producers Jufeng Yeh and Chung Mong-hong, performers Bamboo Chu-Sheng Chen, Cres Chung, Michael Chang and Chen Yi-wen and other members of the production team exchanged words of encouragement with Mayor Ko Wen-je, hoping that the film would be a box office success. Mayor Ko said that he asked around earlier for the meaning of the film's Chinese title, and just realized that it literally meant "Buddha+," so the audience was actually watching the upgraded version of the Buddha. Mayor Ko also mentioned the list of awards and nominations The Great Buddha+ had received to date, and said that a good film needs not only the recognition of awards, but also the support of real audience watching in cinemas. This was the reason why he chose to be there in person to show support.
The Great Buddha+ is director Huang Hsin-yao's first feature-length drama. The film also marked his second win of the million-dollar award at Taipei Film Festival, after his documentary - Taivalu. The Great Buddha+ was co-executive produced by renowned producer Jufeng Yeh and Golden Horse Award-winning director Chung Mong-hong, and stars Let It Be director Cres Chung and Golden Bell Award Best Actor Bamboo Chu-Sheng Chen. During the premiere, director Huang Hsin-yao thanked the guests for attending and for their support and encouragement along the way, especially Deputy CEO Chang Yi-shan of Taipei Culture Foundation, who talked him out of pursuing a political career many years ago and financed his dream of becoming a filmmaker. On behalf of the production team, Jufeng Yeh thanked Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei Culture Foundation and Taipei Film Commission for their support to The Great Buddha+ and to Taiwan's film industry as a whole. Meanwhile, Chung Mong-hong drew ideas from the film's theme and wished for the "prosperity and peace" of the nation.
Director Huang Hsin-yao (2nd from left) thanked the guests for attending and for their support and encouragement along the way. Executive Producer Chung Mong-hong (1st from left); from right: Cres Chung and Bamboo Chu-Sheng Chen
The production team and Mayor Ko. From left: executive producers Jufeng Yeh and Chung Mong-hong, Mayor Ko Wen-je, director Huang Hsin-yao, performers Bamboo Chu-Sheng Chen, Cres Chung, Michael Chang and Chen Yi-wen
The Great Buddha+ tells the underworld story of two socially excluded persons who, out of shear boredom, played with the boss' in-car video unit and found themselves at the center of a political scandal, sex deal, and an outrageously perfect murder plan. The film is presented mostly in monochrome with only few colored shots. Director Huang Hsin-yao had cleverly manipulated colors to create a strong contrast that highlights the significant difference in social status. The plot provides a close observation of human nature, and is presented in a humorous way. Director Huang Hsin-yao also added narratives from time to time to connect the audience to the thoughts of people living at the bottom of the underworld. The Great Buddha+ is undoubtedly the film that best speaks the minds of the Taiwanese people this year. In addition to receiving awards and nominations for Taipei Film Festival and Golden Horse Awards, The Great Buddha+ has also gained reputation around the world, winning NETPAC Award at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and being nominated for this year's Busan International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, and Tokyo International Film Festival. The Great Buddha+ will be officially released nationwide on October 13.