The Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival has announced dual opening night titles, both inspired by faith and local memories, as well as its closing gala presentation.
The festival will open with “Snow in Midsummer,” directed by Chong Keat-aun, a former winner of the Golden Horse Film Awards’ best new director prize with “The Story of Southern Islet,” and “Be With Me,” by Hwarng Wern-ying, who previously won Golden Horse prizes for art direction, costume and makeup.
The festival, which runs Nov. 9-26, will close with the world premiere of “Tales of Taipei,” produced by Bowie Tsang and comprising ten stories by directors from East Asia.
The two opening films were both part of the 2020 Golden Horse Project Promotion, a project matching event. They both have their Asian premiere at the festival.
“Snow in Midsummer” is a story spanning nearly half a century about two generations of females, a troupe master and the Nyonya offspring, in the background of the 13 May Incident in Malaysia, interweaving mythical beliefs and street opera into a historical fable. “[It] is a story unveiling historical scar, and [is] a collaboration between Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore,” said Chong. It stars Pearlly Chua, Wan Fang and Rexen Cheng.
“Be With Me” depicts a woman stumbling in her love life, career and with her family. She returns home to take care of her father and recalls her childhood with her grandfather. Through three generations and a hundred-year history, she eventually finds her own belief in life and love. The film is executive produced by Hou Hsiao-hsien and stars Ariel Lin, along with Vic Chou, Ethan Juan and Chang Hsiao-chuan.
“Memory and yearning are the creative source for this film. Xuantian Shandi embodies the faith of my grandfather, the god worshiped by the family over six generations, representing a force of stability and yearning for the grandfather by the family. Through the hundred-year of ups and downs in Taiwan history, we realize the meaning of life,” said Hwarng.
“Tales of Taipei” takes capital city Taipei as the common backdrop for short films that explore love, time, nationality and death by Chong Keat-aun, Joseph Hsu Chen-chieh, Yin Chen-hao, Wong Yee-lam, Rachid Hami, Pawo Choyning Dorji and Amy Ma. Sprinkled through the portmanteau of shorts are stars including Sammi Cheng, Liu Kuan-ting, Lee Sin-je, Kuo Shu-yau, Stephy Tang, Tsai Chen-nan, Ethan Juan, Karena Lam, Sandrine Pinna, Karim Leklou, Lin Ju, Caitlin Fang and Chen Shu-fang.
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