Made in Taiwan, the inaugural Chinese-language Film Festival Ireland débuts this Thursday, May 11th, at the Irish Film Institute with a focus on the work of master filmmaker Hou Hsiao-Hsien, who will be present at the festival, alongside his longtime collaborator, screenwriter Chu Tien-Wen.
Running across the weekend, the festival will feature an exclusive masterclass with Hou Hsiao-Hsien, post-screening Q&As, and rarely-screened award-winning films by the internationally-acclaimed Taiwanese master director. The masterclass, supported by Screen Training Ireland, will be led by Chinese-language cinema expert Professor Chris Berry of King’s College London.
The festival opens on May 11th with a screening of the martial arts epic The Assassin (2015). The film won the Best Director prize at Cannes, and was nominated for several international awards including the BAFTA for Best Foreign Language Film. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director and screenwriter.
The festival will feature rare screenings of three films spanning Hou’s career. Fuelled by memories from childhood, A Time To Live, A Time to Die, is both autobiographical and universal. The recently-restored The Boys from Fengkuei (1983), reflects on Hou’s youth, with gangs on the streets of southern port city Kaohsiung, while A City of Sadness, winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, is rooted in a haunting period of 20th century Taiwan history.
Also featuring will be the Irish premieres of Huang Hui-Chen’s documentary Small Talk and Midi Z’s The Road to Mandalay. A special screening has also been organised with the support of the Taiwan Film Institute of King Hu’s wuxia martial arts classic A Touch of Zen (1971), the first Chinese-language film to win at Cannes.
The Chinese-Language Film Festival acknowledges the support of its principal partners the Irish Film Institute, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Taiwan Film Institute, Screen Training Ireland and Asia Market. Additionally, the Festival is made possible with the support of Scieneering Consulting Ltd., Taiwan Ireland Association, Dublin School of Mandarin Chinese and Classics Chinese Medicine Clinic.