The Taiwanese American Film Festival (TAFF) is back for a third year! The Festival is thrilled to bring you a one-day event showcasing the boldest and most unique voices of our Taiwanese American and Taiwanese filmmaking community.

Focusing more on education and mentorship this year, we’re very excited to add our new Pitch Competition where we’ve matched six filmmakers with industry mentors to support in enhancing their presentations. Our audience will be amongst the lucky first to hear these pitches where these compelling storytellers will have the chance to win a monetary prize towards their projects.  

Along with a block of fantastic shorts, a touching feature film and an afterparty to top off the day, come join us as we shift narratives and challenge the perspective of what it truly means to be Taiwanese American.

SCHEDULE

 

FILMMAKERS BRUNCH

11:00am | $12

Kicking off our festival day, TAFF invites you to join a special Filmmaker’s Brunch presented by TUF (Taiwan United Fund) in the lobby of Downtown Independent. Come mingle with our staff, industry and community members while enjoying authentic Taiwanese breakfast and refreshments.

SHORTS BLOCK
12:30pm | $12

TAFF is excited to showcase a diverse range of bold and unique films that dive into the weirdest and darkest corners of our imagination.

**WARNING: Some films may not be suitable for younger audiences.**

  • “Master of Divinity“ directed by Eugene Suen

  • “Our Home Here“ directed by Angela Chen

  • “Chi: The Method of Breathing“ directed by Yi Liu

  • “Do It Again“ directed by Hsin Hsuan Yeh

  • “Kiss of the Rabbit God“ directed by Andy Huang

PITCH COMPETITION
2:30pm | $20

  • JAMES SHIH | Project Logline: “Uproar” is a feature-length, 1999 drama that follows shy, high school junior Sean Chang, when on the way to Winter Ball, he finds that his troubled best friend Wes Wu has taken Sean’s girlfriend and the entire dance hostage by gunpoint. In order to get his girlfriend and other students to safety, he must find a way to get inside the gym and talk Wes down or subdue him.

  • SERENA KUO | Project Logline: “Flight” is a Taiwanese-American feature-length film that asks the question: How does one hold on to their dream despite curveballs thrown by circumstances? Is the dream lost forever? Or does it live on, and take on the form of something else?

  • ANDREW HEITZMAN | Project Logline: “Isla Formosa” builds on the rich legacy of Taiwanese omnibus films (In Our Time, The Sandwich Man, 10+10, and so many others), but broadens the scope of the story being told. Rather than exploring a single idea through several perspectives, Isla Formosa will look at identity-defining moments throughout Taiwanese history. Told through 6 short films, directed by 6 different directors, this film explores the question of what it means to be Taiwanese, and celebrates the island’s place in the modern world.

  • GEORGIA FU | Project Logline: “Approximate Joy” is a coming of age feature film about a fifteen-year-old Taiwanese American girl in suburban Michigan grieving for the death of her father, and her inability to accept her mother’s remarriage to an American man. She turns to an illicit affair with the middle-aged high school counselor to feel loved. Life becomes complicated when their relationship is uncovered, and she discovers her deceased father has been reincarnated into the family dog.

  • TOM HUANG | Project Logline: "Dealing with Dad" follows the story of Margaret Chang, who reluctantly goes back to her hometown with her brothers to deal with the sudden depression of their dad. The thing is, everybody hates him and he’s actually nicer depressed than well.

  • ALEX CHU | Project Logline: A queer Asian teen’s life splits into two parallel realities when she runs away from her white evangelical parents in Texas: one in which she runs away to Taiwan with her baby girl, and one in which she leaves the baby behind and moves to Los Angeles. The story then follows the consequences of this choice decades later on the women’s respective choices, relationships and sense of self.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER + AWARDS CEREMONY + CLOSING FEATURE

7:00pm | $12

Keynote Speaker: Bernie Su (Emmy-award winning filmmaker)

Closing Feature: Heavy Craving directed by Pei-Ju Hsieh 

A talented chef for a preschool ran by her demanding mother, Ying-juan earns praise for her culinary creations but scorn for her weight. Even the children she feeds have dubbed her “Ms. Dinosaur” for her size. Joining a popular weight loss program seems like an answer but it’s the unlikely allies she finds outside the program—and the obstacles she faces in it—that help her find a truer path to happiness.

CLOSING PARTY
10:00pm | $10

We are so excited to close out our festival with an exciting afterparty at Kues - Modern Asian Bar and Bistro on 6th street (just a short Lyft away from our venue)! The party will be hosted by the incomparable Miss Shumai (Miss GAPA 2018), who has been at the forefront of representing the Taiwanese community in the drag world.