Vancouver Taiwanese Film Festival 2014 aims to build “cultural bridge”

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Six tales of courage are featured in this month’s eighth annual Vancouver Taiwanese Film Festival.

With the theme “Breakthrough”, the nonprofit event is presented by the UBC Literature Etc. club. It’s co-hosted by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver, and Tourism Taiwan.

According to TECO deputy director general Michael Chen, the film festival aims to help build a “cultural bridge” between Canadians of Taiwanese origin and the larger Canadian community.

“This is the only one of its kind in the region,” Chen said in a press conference today (June 13) at the TECO offices in downtown Vancouver.

This year’s Vancouver Taiwanese Film Festival director, Jill Huang, steered the press conference. The UBCLE member spoke in Mandarin, addressing Chinese media in attendance. Her remarks were translated to English by festival treasurer and design team member Melissa Wu.

“We believe that in everyone’s life, at different stages, there exists a need for a breakthrough,” Wu said. “Whether it be on the job, concerning academia or social relationships, we all face different levels of self challenges.”

UBCLE club member Jean Chen spoke about how victories are achieved in the six Taiwan-made films to be exhibited from June 27 to 29 at the Vancouver International Film Centre (1181 Seymour Street).

The opening film Good Luck! Boy (June 27, 7 p.m.) shows how one can alter fate through hard work. It’s the story of a man who saves an old sugar factory from demolition.

Following at 9:15 p.m. is Touch of the Light, a movie about “reawakening of dreams”, according to Chen. The work features two young adults who want to find their place in society.

June 28 opens with Zone Pro Site (1 p.m.), which Chen said is a comedic film about Taiwanese cuisine. Another screening of Touch of the Light follows at 4 p.m.

At 6:25 p.m., the short film Exit by Vancouver-based artist Brian Cheung precedes the screening of Rock Me to the Moon, a tale about six fathers who formed a band. The day closes with My Mandala, a film about spiritual breakthrough, showing at 9:10 p.m.

June 29 begins with Good Luck! Boy at 2:15 p.m., then My Mandala at 4:30 p.m. Following at 6:50 p.m. is Twelve Nights, which explores the subjects of abandonment and adoption through the experiences of stray dogs. The festival ends with a 9:05 p.m. screening of Zone Pro Site.

The six films were chosen from an initial selection of 50 movies.

According to TECO press director Vivian Lee, Taiwanese filmmakers produced 101 movies last year.

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