(This article is sponsored by the Vancouver Taiwanese Film Festival.)
Filmmakers are known for paying tremendous attention to colours. They often choose their palettes in preproduction to establish the mise-en-scène, or atmospheric tone, to amplify plot elements or emotions on-screen.
This has inspired organizers of the Vancouver Taiwanese Film Festival to adopt a theme of “The Palette of Life” for the 16th annual event, which includes 14 films and panel discussions. The films reflect a broad range of experiences, showing that everyone—no matter how ordinary—is actually extraordinary in their own ways.
The Vancouver Taiwanese Film Festival returns to the VIFF Centre's Vancity Theatre after two years of virtual presentations, opening at 8:15 p.m. Friday (August 5) with director Yi-an Lou’s multiple award-winning Goddamned Asura.
It centres around an 18-year-old, Jan Wen (played by Joseph Huang), who shoots a man in a night market. This sets off a series of interactions between gamers, a journalist, an urban-renewal officer, and advertising executive, shifting from virtual to real worlds.
At 6:55 p.m. on Saturday (August 6) at the same location, Kethsvin Chee's animated drama about a mythical nighmare-eating creature, Hello! Tapir will be screened. Then at 7:30 p.m. in the nearby Studio Theatre, Hello Chih-yen Yee’s award winning animated film about a 16-year-old runaway, City of Lost Things, will be presented. These films are followed followed at 9:05 p.m. in the VanCity Theatre by Ta-pu Chan’s Grit about a former teen criminal forced to choose between his career and a girl he loves.
The Vancouver Taiwanese Film Festival closes its in-person screenings on Sunday with Hung-en Su’s award-winning documentary The Mountain. It tells the history of the island nation’s Aboriginal recertification movement through the eyes of a Truku elder.
From August 8 to 14, people can watch the 2022 TWFF shorts as well as The Child of Light, The Mountain, Muakai's Wedding, and City Of Lost Things on the Vancouver Taiwanese Film Festival website.
One of the hallmarks of the Vancouver Taiwanese Film Festival is its free panel discussions.
Taiwanese Canadian producer and director Feyannie Hung will discuss making films on both sides of the Pacific Ocean at the VIFF Centre at 4:15 on Saturday (August 6). Hung, a UBC film-studies grad, produced and directed "Cheers" and produced "Especially Joy" and "Coming Home to Myself", which are all in the short program presented on August 6 and 7. Her credits include Netflix’s Stranger Things, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and The Last of Us, which will air on HBO, as well as the acclaimed 2021 Taiwanese film American Girl.
Another Taiwanese Canadian director, Denny Lu, will offer an introduction to animation at 10 a.m. on Saturday (August 6) at the Vancouver International Film Centre. He has experience in everything from storyboarding to computer and traditional animation to background and character design.
The final speaker is Taiwanese director Su at 7 p.m. on Sunday (August 14). In a free virtual presentation, he will discuss reconciliation on the island nation on the same evening that his documentary Muakai’s Wedding is screened. Su is of Truku and Hoklo heritage and this film is about a spectacular traditional Paiwan wedding held at National Taiwan University.