The Taiwan Film Festival announces the follow-up to its hugely successful, inaugural film festival in 2019. Running from 2 – 29 March, the Festival will feature a selection of films and live art performances which will take place at various prestigious locations including the Tate Modern’s Starr Cinema, the Curzon Soho and DocHouse at Curzon Bloomsbury, as well as a pop-up art space in London.

The Festival celebrates Taiwan’s long and tempestuous history and diverse cultural heritage through the uncensored lens of independent Taiwanese filmmakers. The programme is based on the theme ‘Wounded’, with films that explore the unhealed wounds which arose during Taiwan’s period under martial law, and will cover a broad range of topical issues that are both particular to Taiwan and also speak to a global audience – including social media/technology, LGBTQ rights, racism, post-colonialism and cultural conflicts, mental health and climate catastrophe. As the only Mandarin-speaking country in the world who protects freedom of speech, Taiwan has a powerful voice to tell stories others cannot.

This year’s Festival reflects on historic political and social issues which are still unresolved and continue to repeat themselves, both in Taiwan and on a global scale. The films open and examine the ‘wounds’ instigated during Taiwan’s martial law period in an effort to understand how we have been affected and how we might be able to heal,” says Festival curator, Aephie Chen.

The Festival will see the UK premiere of a number of Taiwanese films including Taiwanese artist, Chen Chieh-Jen’s pioneering visual art installations at the Tate Modern and the first retrospective of acclaimed film editor Liao Ching-sung who began his career in the 1970s and is a defining voice of the post-martial law period, having edited films for most of the Taiwanese New Wave directors which emerged after 1987, including all of Hou Hsiao-Hsieh and Edward Yang’s films.

Chen Chieh-Jen’s “Factory”

The Taiwan Film Festival opens this year with Taiwanese artist Chen Chieh-Jen’s “Factory”, part of Reverberation – a two-day programme of his films which will be screened at the Tate’s Starr Cinema. Chen will also take part in a series of artist talks at the Royal College of Art, Slade School of Fine Art and Goldsmith’s, University of London, post-screening Q&A’s and will lead a masterclass.

Other highlights of the Festival include a selection of VR films from directors Chen Singing and Tsung-Han Tsai, live art performances, documentaries from Ke Chin-yuan on environmental issues, as well as a short film programme from directors including Ho Wi Ding, Lin Shu-Yu, Cheng Wen-Tang, Fish Wang, Charlene Shih and Lin Hsin-i.

The full programme for the UK screenings will be available on Friday 28 February. Stay tuned!

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On paper I am an Italian living in London, in reality I was born and bread in a popcorn bucket. I've loved cinema since I was a little child and I’ve always had a passion and interest for Asian (especially Japanese) pop culture, food and traditions, but on the cinema side, my big, first love is Hong Kong Cinema. Then - by a sort of osmosis - I have expanded my love and appreciation to the cinematography of other Asian countries. I like action, heroic bloodshed, wu-xia, Shaw Bros (even if it’s not my specialty), Anime, and also more auteur-ish movies. Anything that is good, really, but I am allergic to rom-com (unless it’s a HK rom-com, possibly featuring Andy Lau in his 20s)"