Returning for its second edition, between 25 and 31 October, Taiwan Film Festival Edinburgh will be presenting a fantastic range of Taiwanese cinema gems, many of them UK premieres dating from the 1930s up to 2020, delivered through in-person screenings and digital talks at Glasgow Film Theatre and Summerhall in Edinburgh and a free digital programme of films.

With the theme of Disruptions and Transformations, inspired by the fast-changing and unsettling world in the past few years, the Festival explores both the monumental historic shifts the Taiwanese society experienced over the decades but also portrays the seemingly small disruptions of the everyday.

Featuring the work of legends such as Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Edward Yang, and exploring topics such as war, urban life and the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community, the free programme of digital screenings is now available to pre-book on the Festival’s digital platform. Access is limited to a specific number of viewers per film so audiences are advised to book early.

For the first time, the Festival also presents a range of in-person screenings. As part of their special climate-focused strand in the run up to COP26, Glasgow Film Theatre will host a screening of two environmental documentaries showing how Taiwanese filmmakers address environmental transformations caused by economic and industrial progress – after all, the climate emergency is the ultimate change and interruption we all must respond to together.

On 25 October, Sacred Forest (2019) will delve deep into the majestic cypress forest in Taiwan and on 30 October, Whale Island (2020) will explore how the ocean might become our home one day. Tickets on sale soon.

Sounds in Silence is a double bill of silent cinema gems offering an extraordinary glimpse into the everyday lives of Taiwanese people in the early and mid-20th century, presented at Summerhall on 27 October and featuring new score from acclaimed composer and musician Lim Giong and live music by Glasgow-based experimental musician Rory Green. With contemporary film scoring featuring on the archive films from decades ago, the event is going to take audience on a trip through time to Taiwan in the 1930s and 1960s. The tickets available here.

Liu Kuan-Ping, Chief Curator at the Festival, said: “I am really excited that for the first time, Taiwan Film Festival Edinburgh is bringing three in-person screenings taking place at two fantastic arts institutions: Glasgow Film Theatre and Summerhall – all exploring Disruptions and Transformations on a macro and micro scale. I cannot wait to meet our audience face to face, with facial masks on of course. We are also pleased to be back with an inspired programme of free digital screenings this year available to nationwide audiences.”

“We would like to thank the Ministry of Culture in Taiwan, our generous sponsor, as well as our partners Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute who have been instrumental in securing some of the cinematic gems we are now able to share with our UK audiences.”

Telling us the inspiration of the theme, one of the co-curators, Chiu Yi-Chieh said: “On 23 March 2020, all of our lives were interrupted in unimaginable ways by the global pandemic- it was precisely at that time that the Taiwan Film Festival Edinburgh was born. It made us reflect on how changes and interruptions are always present in our daily lives.

“When we were making the selection, we wanted to encourage audiences to look beyond the canons and fall in love with films that are overdue the world’s applause. We welcome audiences’ own interpretative grouping by putting all films under the theme of Disruptions and Transformations without the conventional curatorial classification.”

Head of Taipei Representative Office UK Cultural Division, Dr Chen Pin-Chuan said: “It is great to see Taiwan Film Festival Edinburgh continuing the great work. Through these wonderful films from Taiwan, we hope to establish connections with Scottish audiences, and will introduce more cultural and arts programs to Scotland in the near future.”


IN-PERSON SCREENINGS in Glasgow and Edinburgh

Sacred Forest 神殿| Ke Ching-Yuan| 2019 | 60 mins

In-person screening on 25 October at Glasgow Film Theatre; tickets on sale soon.

Sacred Forest takes an eco-philosophical approach to introduce the deeply unique nature of Taiwan’s cloud enveloped cypress forest ecosystems and to explore the nation’s oldest forests, tallest tree species, and priceless, multi-millennial stands of giant ‘sacred trees’. Sacred Forest follows six separate groups, each with different interests and field specialties, as they experience the raw majesty of the forest from multiple facets ranging from the analytically intellectual to the introspectively emotional and spiritually uplifting.

The screening will also feature a special introduction from the film director, Ke Ching-yuan.

Whale Island 男人與他的海 | Huang Jia Jun| 2020 | 108 mins | UK Premiere

In-person screening on 30 October at Glasgow Film Theatre; tickets on sale soon.

Taiwan is an island. Although it is surrounded by the sea, its people fear the sea since the history and the religious beliefs held on this island make people turn their backs to the sea. ​Oceanic literature author Liao Hung-chi and underwater photographer Ray Chin lead the audience out to the sea and into the water. They prompt us to understand the sea and to think about the possibility that the ocean might become our lives and the future of our living land.

The screening will also feature a special introduction from the film director, Huang Jia-jun

Sounds in Silence double bill at 6.30pm on 27 October in Summerhall, Edinburgh; also online 28-31 Oct on Festival website.

A Morning in Taipei 臺北之晨 | Pai Jing-jui | 1964 | 20 mins | UK Premiere

Director Pai Jing-jui’s 1964 short documentary depicts a modern, industrious Taipei full of diverse and determined individuals as they perform their morning routines. People begin their workday, actors prepare for a theatrical performance, and children play in the schoolyard; the day is full of wonder and possibility.

A pre-recorded conversation between Chen Chia-Huei (co-creator of the new score and sound for A Morning in Taipei and the art consultant and Head of Education at the Taiwan Sound Lab) and musician Rory Green will be screened after A Morning in Taipei.

Deng Nan-guang’s 8mm Movies 鄧南光8mm家庭電影| Deng Nan-guang| 1935-1941| 57 mins| UK Premiere

Deng Nan-Guang’s 57-minute collection of intimate home-style videos, filmed between 1935 and 1941, captures an overlooked side of Taiwanese life under Japanese occupation. The films serve as a well-preserved time portal to a bygone era, offering a glimpse of life in Taiwan under colonial rule in the lead up to the Second World War. Screened to a live music score from a Glasgow-based experimental musician Rory Green.

In addition, a full list of Digital screening can be found on the Festival website