A Taiwanese filmmaker might've made your favourite movie, although you mightn't realise that. A fan of Brokeback Mountain? Loved Life of Pi? Still in awe at Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon's action scenes? Thank Ang Lee — but he's just one of many talented directors from Taiwan.
To dive into the depths of the rest of Taiwan's filmmaking prowess, Sydney is now home to its first ever Taiwan Film Festival. Between Friday, July 27 and Sunday, July 29, the fest will showcase nine features and four shorts that highlight the stories, styles and stars of Taiwanese cinema — films that, outside of occasional berths at Australia's major fests, don't often make it to our shores.
It all kicks off with the emotional Sen Sen, about a boy overcoming loss and a grandmother determined not to let illness hold her back, before serving up everything from award-winning queer dramas and popular horror sequels to murder mysteries and big-screen soap operas.
Films to look out for include documentary Black Bear Forest, as set in the mountain ranges around Yu-Shan National Park; Take Me to the Moon, a time-travel rom-com; and closing night's Father to Son, which was produced by iconic Taiwanese director Hsiao-Hsien Hou (The Assassin).