Eight Taiwan-made films and two Thai films were screened at an annual presentation of Taiwan cinema held by the Ministry of Culture and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Thailand from Jan. 17 through 23 in Bangkok.
Taiwan Film Festival in Bangkok 2018 marks the first time that Taiwan hosted a grand selection of outstanding films in Thailand. A full house of esteemed friends and guests attended the opening night on Jan. 17, including the Greek Ambassador to Thailand Pericles Boutos and his lovely wife, and respected leaders of the overseas Chinese community in Thailand.
The seven-day festival opened with “Hang in There, Kids!” – the directorial debut of indigenous female director Laha Mebow and Taiwan’s 2017 nominee for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Its honest portrayal of the socioeconomic conditions faced by Taiwan’s indigenous communities today provided much food for thought.
Other Taiwan-made films include the Edward Yang classic “A Brighter Summer Day”; Taiwan New Wave Cinema documentary “Ode to Time”; supernatural family drama “A Fish Out of Water”; ghastly hitman thriller “The Laundryman”; desolate urban film “Missing Johnny”; fetish tragedy “White Ant”; and black comedy heist “Godspeed.”
The two Thai films selected for the program were the 1984 classic “The Story of Nam Pu” on the last days of a drug-addicted young man by director Euthana Mukdasanit, and the 2017 documentary “Phantom of Illumination” on the dying breed of stand-alone movie theatres in Bangkok by independent director Wattanapume Laisuwanchai.
Two filmmakers also flew in from Taiwan to hold post-screening talks at the Bangkok festival. It was the first time that Hou Chi-jan, director of “Ode to Taiwan,” visited Thailand. Lai Kuo-an, director of “Fish Out of Water,” noted that he has considerable experience working with Thai post-production companies and that he has witnessed the speedy, stable growth of the Thai film industry in recent years.
“Throughout the selection, we try to express the continuity, the expanding scale of time, and the modern urban lives in Taiwan,” explained Tung Chen-yuan, Taiwan’s representative to Thailand. “We really look forward to expressing our respect towards the multiculture of Taiwan.”
‘Taiwan Film Festival in Bangkok’