Kaohsiung Film Festival Announces the 65 Films from 30 Countries Selected for the 2018 KFF International Short Film Competition
The Kaohsiung Film Festival (KFF) announces the nominees for its 8th International Short Film Competition. Among the 3,203 submissions from 93 countries, 65 short films from 30 countries have finally been selected. These films will compete for 8 awards in the Competition sections and an award in the Out of Competition section. All the selected films will be screened in the Kaohsiung Film Archive during the festival from October 19th to November 4th, 2018.
The Kaohsiung Film Festival is the second largest short film festival in Asia and a unique platform for creative short films in Taiwan. This year, 3,203 short films from 93 countries were submitted for the KFF International Short Film Competition. After a four-month selection period, 65 entries were selected. Among them are great works previously selected by prestigious international film festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival, the Locarno Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the Busan International Film Festival, and the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia. Out of all the finalists, 20 are Taiwanese films, including I Have Nothing to Say by exiled Chinese filmmaker Ying Liang, Jie Jie by Taiwanese-American filmmaker Feng-I Fiona Roan, which was one of the finalists at the HBO Asian Pacific American Visionaries Short Film Competition. Others are Scissors and the Cat by Taiwanese filmmaker Chi-Jan Hou, a film formerly selected by the 2018 Taiwan International Documentary Festival, and Magician on the Roof, the winner of the Gold Award at the 2018 Youth Film Festival, Taiwan. To Heaven, to Gather directed by Li-Yue Chang and cinematographed by Christopher Doyle.
All These Creatures
45 short films are selected for the International Competition section. Many of them are award winners at other international short film festivals: Australian short All These Creatures, the winner of the Short Film Palme d'Or at Cannes this year, tells the story of an African boy going on a journey of self exploration with a poetic touch. Brazilian short The Orphan, which won the Queer Palm Award also at Cannes 2018, is about a boy looking for an adoptive family who could accept his true self. Polish short Tremors focuses on the conflicted relationship between two teenagers, portraying the exciting energy and angst of adolescence. Italian short Magic Alps invites the audience to look into the story of an Afghan refugee, who strives to look for asylum for himself and his goat in Italy.
To encourage films with unique Asian perspectives, a new award, the Asian New Wave Award is added to the International Competition section. Geographical diversity is shown among the finalists, as remarkable films from Iran, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, India, Hong Kong and China all come together to compete for awards. Chinese film On the Border (Special Jury Distinction - Short Film, Cannes 2018) and South Korean film A Hand-written Poster (Sonje Award, Busan International Film Festival 2017) both reflect on the contemporary social circumstances through in-depth portrait of the protagonists’ actions and mental states, expressing the filmmakers’ unique viewpoints inspired by the Asian context.
Many finalists in the International Competition were previously nominated at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, the largest short film festival in the world. Swedish short Shadow Animals, which won the Special Jury Prize at Clermont-Ferrand, depicts an uncanny and mysterious adult ritual from a child’s perspective. German film Skin intimately portrays the female character’s struggle as she faces her scars, traumas from the past, and her ultimate desire for love. Indian short Counterfeit Kunkoo focuses on the hardship and discrimination a divorced woman could face in India. Kampung Tapir follows a migrant worker couple’s trip to Singapore and captures their constant longing for their family in rural Malaysia. French animated short (Fool Time) Job applies black and white animation to construct a bizarre world exploring the essence of human conditions. Aside from the nominated shorts at Clermont-Ferrand, there are also films that have won grand awards in other festivals. To mention a few, Spanish short One, the winner of Le Grand Prix International at the 2018 Brussels Short Film Festival, tells of the strong emotional connection between family members through a cell phone floating on the sea. Gaze, the Grand Jury Award winner for live action short at the 2017 AFI Fest, depicts the anxiety and fear of a single woman on her way home at late night in Tehran, Iran.
In order to encourage Taiwanese filmmakers and discover emerging talents, the Taiwan Competition section is established this year with four awards: Taiwan Grand Prize, Jury Prize, Taiwan Student Award and Special Mention. 20 Taiwanese films have been selected to compete for the awards, and among them, three films will have their world premiere at KFF: To Heaven, to Gather by Li-Yue Chang, A Daughter’s Task by Chia-Hua Chin, and Brotherhood by Chia-Chun Wang.
Scissors and the Cat
Many nominated films in the Taiwan Competition have already received critical acclaim and several awards. Scissors and the Cat is the long-awaited new piece from Chi-Jan Hou, director of When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep (2012). Blind Mouth, a science fiction short that touches upon the sensitive political dissidence in Malaysia, was nominated for the Best Live Action Short Film at the 2017 Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival. Wei-Liang Chiang, the winner of the Audi Short Film Award at Berlinale in 2016, brings two new shorts this time, Luzon and Nyi Ma Lay. Winner of the Outstanding Selection Award at the 2018 Youth Film Festival, Safety First, starring veteran Taiwanese actors Zhen-Nan Cai and Chin-Liang Liao, depicts the rough reality of labor workers in Taiwan. Showing an interest and concern for the working class, multi-award winning documentary filmmaker Hui-Ju Hsu brings her new work, Temporary, while young director Wen-Shuo Hsueh tells the story of migrant workers in his fiction short Lovely Sundays. Both as finalists at the 2018 Taiwan International Documentary Festival, Funeral Video explores the issue of death while Spectrum of Nostalgia traces the memories of “self” and family history. Remarkable animated shorts include Si So Mi, a nominee for the Best Animation Award at the 2018 Taipei Film Festival, as well as Fisso and As Usual, which both won an award at the 2018 Youth Film Festival.
It is worth noting that versatile Taiwanese filmmaker Chieh Yang enters the KFF International Short Film Competition for the third consecutive year with her new work, Tail End of the Year. She had participated in many short film productions selected by KFF in the previous years, including Like a Patch of Mud (2017 KFF, director), Cronos (2016 KFF, director), Ping Pong Coach (2016 KFF, producer and scriptwriter) and After the Storm (2013 KFF, actress). Tail End of the Year features a stellar female cast and tells a coming-of-age story of a ten-year-old girl in a traditional Taiwanese family.
This year, many brilliant shorts are to have their world premieres or Asian premieres at KFF. One of the world premieres is Myself Found from Dot 2 Dot’s director Amos Why, which evokes the nostalgia for the old days in Hong Kong. Another is The Common Place, an experimental short by French video artist Raphaële Bezin. Asian premieres include For You by Katarzyna Wiśniowska, Été by Gregory Oke, Three Days by Yingqing Gong, Black Maria by Juan Pablo Caballero and The Lessons of the Night by Christian Rae Villanueva.
All the selected films of the 2018 KFF International Short Film Competition will be screened in the cinema on the 3rd floor of the Kaohsiung Film Archive during the festival with 24 short film programs and more than one hundred shorts in total. The Kaohsiung Film Festival releases 100 limited-edition “KFF Short Film Pass” (NT$ 499). The Pass grants unlimited access to all the short film programs and is on sale on I Pass (www.ipasskhcc.tw) and ibon at 7-ELEVEN around Taiwan.
The 2018 Kaohsiung Film Festival will take place from October 19th (Fri) to November 4th (Sun) at the Kaohsiung Main Public Library, the Kaohsiung Film Archive, and the Cinemark Theater at the Dream Mall. For more information, please visit the KFF official website (www.kff.tw) or the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TaiwanKFF).