SOURCE: Taipei Film Commission

May 17, 2013 09:00 ET

"Taipei Factory" Debuts in Cannes

TAIPEI, TAIWAN--(Marketwired - May 17, 2013) - The Taipei Factory initiated by the Taipei Film Commission and the Cannes Directors' Fortnight made its world debut at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival on May 16. The screening enjoyed a very well-received response at the Theatre Croisette and generated an energy and interest for Taiwan Cinema.

Taipei Factory is the only Taiwanese film that is officially selected to screen at this year's Cannes Film Festival. The film marks the first time Taipei Film Commission joined hands with an international film festival to present a film project. 

With the aim of nurturing young talent and promoting Taiwan's movie industry, Taipei Factory pairs four Taiwanese directors with four directors from France, South Korea, Chile and Iran to shoot four 15-minute short films in Taipei. The four pairs include Taiwan's Singing Chen and South Korean director Jero Yun, Midi Z and Joana Preiss from France, Shen Ko-shang and Chilean director Luis Cifuentes, Chang Jung-chi and Iranian director Alireza Khatami, who produced Pig, Silent Asylum, A Nice Travel, and Mr. Chang's New Address respectively. "Taipei Factory" has three screenings in Cannes.

Speaking at the Theatre Croisette before the screening of Taipei Factory, Edouard Waintrop, the artistic director of the Directors' Fortnight, said he is very excited to feel the dynamics and vividness that Taiwan Cinema has to offer. He is impressed by a lot of Taiwanese filmmakers including Hou Hsiao-hsien and Tsai Ming-liang, and he is sure that the collaboration between filmmakers from different backgrounds will benefit all sides. "The Cannes Directors' Fortnight allows filmmakers to exchange ideas and inspire each other, and it has long been a global communication platform for filmmakers from across the world," Waintrop added.

Except for Jero Yun who was unable to travel to Cannes, the seven participating directors shared with the audiences the filmmaking process of Taipei Factory after the film's screening. Singing Chen said both she and Jero Yun shared a similar idea of focusing their cinematic creation on the less fortunate, so the script of the film was decided quite early on. Since the film has to be shot in Taipei, the Taiwanese crew is responsible for location scouting, and she discussed the scenes and plots with Jero via email before they shot the film in March.

Midi Z and Joana Preiss' collaboration Silent Asylum recounts the life of Burmese refugees through the form of mockumentary. Midi Z said two of the three actors appearing in the short film are not Burmese refugees, but professional actors. By retelling the stories of Burmese people, he hopes to explore the fine line between reality and art. Joana Preiss, on the other hand, said working with a director whom she has never worked before requires trust. "You have to trust yourself and trust your partner director. The film would not be made without trust," the beautiful actress/director said.

The third pair, Shen Ko-shang and Luis Cifuentes, both said working with each other is a great experience. "For me, filmmaking is not just about making a film, it is also about making friends," Shen said. He added that he and Luis has shared a lot about personal stories before shooting the short film, and A Nice Travel is about the portrayal of one's innermost affections, or the most unspeakable emotions. Chang Jung-chi, whose Touch of the Light made a big hit on the international community, said the script of Mr. Chang's New Address was written by his partner director Alireza Khatami. Both Khatami and he thought conveying an idea or message through a movie should not be dogmatized. Mr. Chang's New Address uses realistic approaches to tell a non-realistic situation, and he hopes audiences will relate to the film and be touched by it. 

About Taipei Film Commission

The Taipei Film Commission was established in the end of 2007 to provide assistance for film production in Taipei city. As a semi-governmental organization with the city mayor as chairman and industry professionals as commissioners, the TFC is resourceful and flexible at the same time. Whether it is about location scouting, tax credit, transportation arrangement or promotion, the TFC is committed to doing its best to make movie-making projects in Taipei as rewarding and successful as possible. The TFC is also developing strategic plans to strengthen the local film industry.

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