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2014 Vancouver Taiwanese Film Festival

The Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver assisted UBC Literature Etc., a Taiwanese student club, host the 8th annual Vancouver Taiwanese Film Festival that was held from June 27 to 29. Its goal is to showcase Taiwanese acting talent and filmmakers to a wider audience. Six films were shown this year. They were chosen from over 100 movies produced in Taiwan last year, based on their connectedness to this year’s theme: Breakthrough, a reference to the challenges that people face and overcome in their daily life.

Several 2013 Huayu Enrichment Scholarship recipients were invited to attend the opening ceremony where Mr. William Heng-sheng Chuang, the Director General TECO in Vancouver pointed out that film is an ideal way to share Taiwanese culture with a foreign audience. The scholarships recipients gave the Taipei Times newspaper some of their thoughts about the films they’d seen.

Alice Farrer says she couldn’t forget what she called the “authentic” cinematography in Good Luck! Boy (加油! 男孩), a film that depicts daily life in Taiwan’s countryside through the eyes of a passionate musician. She felt that it offered her a window into Taiwanese culture.

This sentiment about this particular film was echoed by Cole Dickson, who had previously taught at a rural school in Taiwan. “It was exactly what I experienced as a teacher” said Dickson. He also commented that film is an excellent way to bridge the gap between Taiwanese culture and Canadians.

The student organizers felt that the theme reflected their own struggles working to put the festival together. Jill Huang, the UBC Literature Etc. club’s president explained that organizing the festival over the past six months meant giving up Friday night parties and weekend downtime, not to mention juggling the demands of a full-time student workload. Whenever she felt frustrated and overwhelmed during the planning process, she would tell herself to break through these challenges and limits.