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Chicago film festival to highlight diversity of Taiwan's documentary filmmaking

  • Date:2020-09-22~2020-09-26
Chicago film festival to highlight diversity of Taiwan's documentary filmmaking

A total of five Taiwanese documentaries, addressing topics from almost-distinct animal to the Tibetan Buddhist nuns in the Himalayan region, will have their online U.S. premiere as part of the lineup of Chicago's Asian Pop-Up Cinema's (APUC) bi-annual film festival from Sept. 22 through 26.

The documentaries will be streamed on the platform Festival Scope, under the section "Taiwan's Week: Spotlight in Documentaries," which according to Sophia Wong Boccio, APUC's founder and executive director, marks the first time for a film festival to highlight "a large selection of rarely shown documentaries to nurture our audience with strong dose of pure beauty -- both humanitarian and cinematic."

Reflecting the variety of Taiwan's documentary filmmaking, the five cinematic works are "Formosan B.B. Is Coming (黑熊來了)," "Whale Island (男人與他的海)," "Water with Life (水起・臺灣)," "Walking Dharma (如常)," and "Tsunma, Tsunma: My Summer with the Female Monastics of the Himalaya (尊瑪、尊瑪:我和她們在喜馬拉雅山的夏天)."

Directed by veteran mountaineer and director Mai Chueh-ming (麥覺明), the film follows Formosan black bear expert Hwang Mei-hsiu's (黃美秀) trip into deep forests where the endangered species inhabit.

"Whale Island," meanwhile, leads the audience to sail from eastern Taiwan to Kingdom of Tonga, an Oceanian country that is 5,000 miles away from Taiwan, with maritime author Liao Hung-chi (廖鴻基) and underwater photographer Ray Chin (金磊).

"Water with Life," the world's first 8K environmental documentary, chronicles an underwater journey that enables people to see diverse lives relying on water and serious impacts caused by global warming, according to the Festival Scope.

"Walking Dharma" focuses on a group of tireless volunteers who, as the platform describes, takes care of "the elderly who live alone, orphaned teenagers, patients fighting cancer and people who are struggling with their stressful lives in the dark corners of society."

"Tsunma, Tsunma: My Summer with the Female Monastics of the Himalaya," on the other hand, captures the life of the Tibetan Buddhist nuns who dedicate themselves to keeping their hope and faith alive.

Asian Pop-Up Cinema, now in its fifth year, will present 22 movies – 15 online and 7 at a drive-in theater – from Sept. 10 through Oct. 10. The screenings will be accompanied with pre-recorded "Filmmakers' Talks" to shed light on the cultural and artistic context of featuring cinematic works. Visit here for more information.