Father to Son Applauded at Rotterdam Michael Huang Revealed He Would Have Acted for Free - Taipei Film Commission
Father to Son
, a Taiwanese film selected for the 47th International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), had its world premiere in the morning of January 31, Taipei time. Following the footsteps of last year's The Last Painting, Father to Son
is another Taiwanese film selected to compete for the Big Screen Award at Rotterdam. At the premiere, director Hsiao Ya-chuan, performers Michael Huang, Samuel Gu and Wang Hsiu-feng and producer Hsiao Jui-lan appeared to the cheer of 300 fully seated crowd. There was even a Taiwanese lady who appeared in support of the film alongside her husband and felt interested in the metaphors and symbols around Taiwan's historic context mentioned in the film. Director Hsiao Ya-chuan said that the film was given the English title of "Father to Son
" not only to convey the pass-down of legacy from father to son, but also to reflect his personal experience. He admitted that he did not have a close relationship with his father, but after his father's passing several years back and having watched his son grow up, Hsiao Ya-chuan began thinking about his relationship with his son, which was how the story came to be. Father to Son will be showcased during IFFR over 5 screening sessions, and is expected to receive good responses as Shelly Kraicer, one of the programmers for IFFR and hostess for the QA session, had praised passionately on Twitter about the film's motivating story and stunning visuals.
Father to Son has its world premiere during International Film Festival
The film's 3 lead performers, namely Michael Huang, Wang Hsiu-feng and Samuel Gu, had traveled half way around the world to take part in the world premiere. When asked about how he had played his role of Van Pao-te in Father to Son
, Michael Huang said when he first read through the script, he suspected the director of having read his diary without him knowing, because Van Pao-te’s story presented closely resembled his own experience. He said jokingly that the script did not call for serious acting; all he had to do was be himself. Huang said he loved the story so much that he would have begged for the role without pay. For Wang Hsiu-feng who flied from Italy to attend the premiere, Father to Son
was her first film after a 15-year break, which she considered to be a fun experience and was able to fit right in. She also appreciated the level of professionalism the crew had demonstrated. Overall, she felt proud about how the film had turned out. Samuel Gu, who played a Hong Kong resident in the film, also felt that the character had been custom-made for him. Both of them were handsome-looking guys from Hong Kong visiting Taiwan, and he was able to play the role without difficulties.
Father to Son
tells the stories of several families living in a small town in Chiayi. Through their stories, Hsiao Ya-chuan tried to explain Taiwan's intertwining history and its place among the world, while showing the true kindness of the Taiwanese people. The story begins with 60-year old Van Pao-te who, after discovering his illness, decided to go to Japan in search for his father who left his family 50 years ago. Van's son, too, joined him in his journey. It had been a heartwarming premiere screening. The audience commented that the story was told beyond cultural barriers, allowing European people to appreciate the complexity of the characters and the attempt at recreating history without difficulty. Some also commended the director's strong storytelling skills and considered the film worthy of an award. Father to Son
will be officially released in Taiwan towards the end of summer and early autumn. (Text and images: Mirror Stage Films)