SEPT 2 – 4
Various Locations in Downtown Vancouver

Cinematic Taiwan

From the Curating Team

Who was left out?

History is not only a record of the past but also serves as an important tool for understanding ourselves and shaping our future. However, many non-mainstream events, characters, and objects have been overlooked and hidden in the torrent of time. Within the backdrop of colonialism, how can we protect Taiwan’s subjectivity? We must organize anew our pasts, and record these forgotten stories, so as to fill in the blanks of our history.

How should we cope with the impact of self-identity when facing immigrants of different cultures and languages? Their experiences and contributions should be included in our historical narratives, to further our understanding and respect of these diverse identities. These disappeared histories are not only part of our shared memory, but also a way for us to heal from past traumas and search for a common ground.

These questions drive us to reflect on the presentations of history we have access to. We must build a more holistic and inclusive historical perspective, one that incorporates marginalized stories and allows everyone to find their place and value in history. These films are not only a tribute to the past, but also an inspiration to our present and the future. Let us work together to achieve a more just and equal society.

Programming Partners

Cinematic Taiwan

Time schedule subject to change

Anthony Shim

Riceboy Sleeps

Drama

Set in the 90s, a Korean single mother raises her young son in the suburbs of Canada determined to provide a better life for him than the one she left behind. Riceboy Sleeps tells a deeply-moving and universal story about family, migration, and belonging.

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Anthony Shim is a Canadian actor and filmmaker based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Born in Seoul, South Korea, he moved with his family to the Vancouver suburb of Coquitlam in childhood. 

His full-length feature debut as a director, Daughter, premiered at the 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival. His second feature film, Riceboy Sleeps, premiered in the Platform Prize competition at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival, and was named the winner of the Platform Prize. It won the Toronto Film Critics Association’s Rogers Best Canadian Film Award, which comes with a $100,000 prize, considered the richest annual film prize in Canada. He won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Original Screenplay at the 11th Canadian Screen Awards in 2023 for Riceboy Sleeps.

Sept - 3rd

ANNEX

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Rated 14A

May contain violence, coarse language or sexually suggestive scenes, or any combination of them. Suitable for viewers 14 years of age or older. Viewers under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

See Pancouver’s review of the movie! 

Hayley Gray

Unarchived

Documentary

In community archives across British Columbia, local knowledge keepers are hand-fashioning a more inclusive history. Through a collage of personal interviews, archival footage and deeply rooted memories, the past, present and future come together, fighting for a space where everyone is seen and everyone belongs. History is what we all make of it.

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Hayley is a Vancouver-based writer and director (DGC).  She is a graduate of Dalhousie University and Vancouver Film School and has written and directed scripted, documentary and commercial work. Hayley’s films have aired on Telus Optik, the Knowledge Network, CBC and Air Canada. Hayley’s documentary: HAYASHI STUDIO investigates the hidden history of BC, and won Best Canadian Short at VAFF. Her NFB produced documentary UNARCHIVED examines how to make erased histories as researchable and accessible and the dominant historical record. Her film SEND THE RAIN speaks to the devastating results of British Columbia’s Wildfires. It premiered on CBC, won the Golden Egg at the Reykjavik International Film Festival and a DGC Award.

Sept - 2nd

ANNEX

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Documentary is not rated. Parental guidance advised. Theme or content may not be suitable for all children.

This film is screened with support from the National Film Board of Canada.

Chen Lih-kuei

The Hidden Transcript of Academician TS'AO

Documentary

“History is a structure, state of affairs and events formed by the interaction and interweaving of ‘people, time and space.’” 

Teacher Ts’ao Yung-ho recorded history with very few words on memo pads, laying an important foundation of the early history of Taiwan. This year, the theme of TAIWANfest is SELF-PORTRAITS OF FORMOSA – Reminiscing the Dutch? By self-studying ancient Dutch and reading De Dagregisters van het Kasteel Zeelandia and other materials, Teacher Ts’ao narrates the history of Taiwan from a spatialized perspective, viewing Taiwan as a fundamental unit of globalization and highlighting Taiwan’s unique role in the world.

After the film, Shu-ming Chung will share her teacher-student relationship with Teacher Ts’ao Yung-ho and the influence of Teacher Ts’ao on the mission of writing the historical and global view of Taiwan.

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Watch Online Now 8/17 - 8/24

Register for FREE for online streaming!

Registration is now open. The password and movie link will be sent via email from 8/14 to 8/16.

From 8/17 to 8/24, you can log in and watch with your password. The streaming link will close at 23:59 p.m. (PST) on August 24th.

Chen Lih-kuei is a documentary director born in Kaohsiung. She worked as a newspaper reporter in Houston and Chicago in the U.S. before returning to Taiwan in 1989 and has been filming documentaries since then. In addition to addressing environmental protection and political issues, she was one of the first documentary directors to focus on women’s issues. These include a movie called Taiwan’s First Female Physician Chhoà A-sìn in 1999 which tells the story of a female role model. Chen Lih-kuei believes that “the status of women is an important indicator of whether a country is democratic!” 

The Hidden Transcript of Academician TS’AO is the final chapter of the “Taiwanese Trilogy” she filmed.

Sept - 2nd

ANNEX

3:15 PM - 5:15 PM

Documentary is not rated. Parental guidance advised. Theme or content may not be suitable for all children.

Lin Shizhang

ISLAND NATION-HOPING

Documentary

“A human life is my whole world, my life!” Facing the challenges of both the virus and human nature, the protagonist’s emotional outburst resonates across the screen. 

The whole world is still reeling from the impact of Covid-19. Many people’s lives, work and lifestyle have encountered tremendous changes. This forces people to face the truth of their smallness within the universe, and to reflect on their relationship with nature. As the pandemic spreads, the enemy we are facing is not only a virus, but also the challenge of humanity. In every moment, each character is struggling, in fear, and oozing empathy, and we’re forced to wonder if their actions are real or fake.

The series Island Nation candidly shows the reality under political power struggle. It boldly exposes the phenomenon of bureaucratic corruption, and delicately depicts the helplessness and anger felt by the civilians who were sacrificed under the struggle of interests. Ultimately, however, whether humans will choose the resilience of survival remains an unanswered question. This series reminds us to rethink our connection with the world and to meet the challenges of the future with perseverance. Despite the pain struggles all around us, we can find inner strength by letting go of the false and welcoming the real. This film is a complete story, showing the fragility and tenacity of human nature and leading us to think about the value of life, and helping Taiwanese society move forward.

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Director Lin Shizhang had a rich experience in film and television shooting, and demonstrated incredible professional skills in this field. He had served as the director of the Island Nation series. He deeply understands audience preferences, and presented stories in a unique way that resonated with the people. He often collaborated with other filmmakers to inspire new ideas, creating thoughtful works that pique interest. His works explored human nature, and inspired people’s thinking and discussion. The delicate handling of the story and aesthetic requirements is what makes his works vivid and exquisite, and the combination of creativity and professionalism brings surprises to the audience.

Sept - 3rd

ANNEX

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Documentary is not rated. Parental guidance advised. Theme or content may not be suitable for all children.

Sarah Vos

White Balls on Walls

Documentary

This program is presented in partnership with the Dutch Cultural Association of BC.

The slogan “Meet the icons of modern art” needs to be scraped off the glass wall of the Stedelijk, Amsterdam’s modern art museum. Because precisely who the icons of modern art are is very much the question. Who gets to decide? And who loses out? 

In 2019, as director Sarah Vos started shooting her documentary, more than 90 percent of art at the Stedelijk was made by white men. That’s got to change, the museum’s director Rein Wolfs believes. But this is easier said than done—so much becomes clear when Vos follows Wolfs and his team as they strive for greater diversity in the collection, as well as among their staff.

This film is more than a look behind the scenes at a museum: as well as presenting a new perspective on art history, it magnificently encapsulates the struggles that are engaging many historical and cultural institutions.

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Director Sarah Vos has been awarded several times for her documentaries. She made, among others, Welcome to Holland – Campus Vught (awarded the Zilveren Zebra en Gouden Kalf nominatie, 2nd Public Award Idfa) about the attempt by the Dutch State to accommodate underage exhausted asylum seekers in a campus model in order to send them back to their country of origin. Big Brother in the Middle East (awarded the Nipkow Schijf) and Curaçao (co-directed with Sander Snoep) in which the white Dutch community on the island is examined closely, (awarded the Prijs van de Nederlandse Filmkritiek and selected Best of Idfa on Tour.)

Sarah makes the viewer a part of the lives of her main characters, by capturing apparently insignificant details. The sometimes confrontational situations that arise as a result make the viewer think about their own life, empathy and ethics.

Two new feature-length documentaries by director Sarah Vos premiered in 2022: Koning op de Dam, co-directed by Sander Snoep, about the influence of his dark Chinese family history on catering tycoon and millionaire Won Yip (Golden Calf selection). In November Sarah’s White Balls On Walls premiered at IDFA 2022. The film was nominated for the IDFA Award for Best Dutch Documentary.

Sept - 4th

ANNEX

2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Documentary is not rated. Parental guidance advised. Theme or content may not be suitable for all children.

Time schedule subject to change

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TAIWANfest Vancouver is grateful to be held on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam Indian Band), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish Nation), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation). We acknowledge our privilege to be gathered here, and commit to work with and be respectful to the Indigenous peoples of this land while we engage in meaningful conversations of culture and reconciliation.