The London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF), the most celebrated champion of East Asian cinema and culture in the UK, held on Wednesday, September 19 the official programme launch for its 2018 festival. To mark the recent surge of domestic and foreign attention surrounding Taiwanese cinema, LEAFF announced that Taiwan will play a central role in its third annual film festival, with “Cinematic Journey Through Taiwan” giving attendees the opportunity to learn more about Taiwan through a series of film screenings, panel discussions, and in-depth conversations.
In total, ten films from Taiwan will be screened, covering the past, present and future of Taiwanese cinema. Audiences will have the chance to watch classic films such as ‘A City of Sadness’ by director Hou Hsiao-hsien (1989), ‘A Brighter Summer Day’ by Edward Yang (1991), and ‘Tropical Fish’ by Chen-Yu-hsun (1995). On the opposite side of the spectrum, socially-charged ‘10 years Taiwan’ (2018) - a series of shorts produced by five talented filmmakers - imagines the future of Taiwanese society in 2028.
The film festival has also acknowledged the talent and creativity of emerging Taiwanese directors, and three have been shortlisted for the prestigious Philips-Lee Award: ‘The Great Buddha+’ by Huang Hsin-yao (2017), The Bold, The Corrupt and the Beautiful by Yang Ya-che (2017), and Dear Ex by Mag Hsu & Chih-yen Hsu (2018).
‘Sen Sen’ (2017) by director Bon An will be featured to highlight the voice of women in East Asian cinema, whilst Hsiao Ya-chuan’s film ‘Father to Son’ (2018) has been selected as part of the ‘Official LEAFF Selection.’ Last but not least, a 2018 documentary collaboration between Taiwan & Myanmar entitled ‘14 Apples’ (2018) will also be given its UK Premiere at the festival.
Representative David Y.L Lin and Cultural Director Cheryl Lai attended the launch event, alongside colleagues from the Taipei Representative Office in the UK. Invited to give introductory remarks, Representative Lin praised LEAFF for its role in giving visibility to East Asia and the East Asian community in the UK, and said he hoped that with Taiwan playing such a central role, that the British audience will gain a deeper understanding of Taiwan.
The London East Asia Film Festival 2018 will take place between 25th October - 4th November. Passes for the festival are now available, starting from £55 - individual tickets will be on sale soon.
(All photos courtesy of LEAFF)