Three up-and-coming directors of Taiwan have been selected to join the film competition and Talents workshop at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival, which will run from Feb. 9 through 19 this year.
"Small Talk (日常對話),” a documentary film directed by Huang Hui-chen (黃惠偵), will join the "Panorama” section, which shows films on current and social issues. It is the first Taiwan-made documentary to be screened in the Berlinale's "Panorama.”
The documentary tells how a heterosexual daughter and her homosexual mother mend their mother-daughter relationship during a journey by highlighting their dialogues. The heart-warming film on sexuality will compete in the Teddy Award, a Berlinale award for LGBT+ topics.
Short film "The Dress on Her (層層摺起的寂寞)” will join the "Generation Kplus” competition, an international section devoted to children and young people. Directed by Wen Chih-yi (溫知儀), the film shows how the friendship between two girls is destroyed after discovering the secret of their teacher.
Taiwan-based Malaysian filmmaker Lau Kek-huat (廖克發), who was honored by the Busan International Film Festival last year for his documentary film "Absent Without Love (不即不離),” will participate in the Berlinale Talents workshop with roughly 300 film professionals from around the world.
The Berlinale Talents is a networking platform for film professionals to develop and present new works. Taiwanese filmmakers including Huang Yin-yu (黃胤毓), Rina Tsou (鄒隆娜), and Hsieh Pei-ju (謝沛如) had joined the previous editions.
Hosted by SPOT Taipei Film House on Feb. 3, the press conference was joined by veteran filmmaker Hou Hsiao-hsien (侯孝賢), the three featured directors Huang, Wen, and Lau, and the actresses starring in their films.
During the conference, director Hou, who served as producer of "Small Talk,” noted that it is rare to see such a lineup for Berlinale. He hopes that it marks the global rise of Taiwanese films and filmmakers of a new generation.
Hou added that "Small Talk” is a film made without using special effects, and encouraged filmmakers to make quality films without relying on special effects.
Director Wen and Huang both expressed their joy for being selected by Berlinale. Wen thanked her team and actors for their contributions while Huang also thanked those who helped make her film possible.
Director Lau noted that although "Absent Without Love” is a film exploring his own family and Malaysian history, it is a film that was made and premiered in Taiwan, therefore representative of Taiwan. Lau also expressed his excitement at exchanging ideas with international filmmakers in the upcoming workshop.
A Taiwan film pavilion will join the European Film Market that is held alongside the Berlinale. Taking place on Feb. 2 through 17, it is a major trade fair for film producers, buyers, distributors, and financiers.
The pavilion will present 79 Taiwanese films, including 25 full-length features, 18 documentaries, 7 short films, 4 animations, 12 restored classic films, and 13 project proposals.