Ho Chao-ti has produced and directed a number of documentaries, focusing for years on documenting topics on the fringes of society, outside of the mainstream, from the changes in Taiwanese society to traditional ethnic music and the hybridization of contemporary culture. Her directorial works include "Class 303" released in 2012 and "Sock'n'Roll (台灣黑狗兄)" in 2013.
In addition to being an independent producer and director, Ho has also served as a director of the Taiwan Film Institute, a supervisor for the Taipei Documentary Filmmakers’ Union, and a coordinator for the Taiwan office of the CNEX Foundation, along with dedicating herself to the work of cultivating a new generation of directors.
Released in 2010, "My Fancy High Heels (我愛高跟鞋)" rapidly became one of Ho's most iconic works, even receiving an invite to be screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Starting in the fashion capital of New York, Ho traced the production process of brand-name high heels, following them from the border between China and Russia all the way back to Manhattan; from the slaughterhouse to the pinnacle of luxury.
The cruel tale behind these beautiful shoes had a particularly powerful impact on Ho. As well as taking a penetrating perspective and asking pointed questions, she felt it was also necessary to adopt a gentle attitude to avoid leaving the audience too shocked by the end of the documentary.
In 2019, Ho's film "Turning 18 (未來無恙)" was honored with the Best Female-Directed Film title at the Amsterdam-based CinemAsia Film Festival 2019. A documentary about two girls growing up, "Turning 18" is a heartbreaking story, but also a story of love and courage. The film attracted international attention by touching on issues like rural poverty, homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender discrimination.
According to Ho, while the film is a documentary about children and young people, it also depicts the resilience of people in the face of life's difficulties. Growing up is hard for everyone, and the teenage years particularly so. Ho hopes that by the end of the film, the audience would walk out with a sense of the power of support and comfort.
Documentaries, Ho believes, can often be at the front lines of the cruelest parts of reality, and she strives to face that cruelty with her own fragility on full display. With time, the scars transform into a strength that combines the gentle and the resilient, and this is what makes Ho's documentaries so gripping and so deeply moving.