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Taipei Film Festival—A New Force in Southeast Asian Cinema
In 2017, the Taipei Film Festival, hosted by the Taipei City Government and the Taipei City Cultural Foundation, will be entering its 19th year. The festival features the Taipei Film Awards and an international film program and has become a public film festival of international scale.This year’s special focus is Southeast Asian cinema. Outstanding films from the Cannes, Venice, and Rotterdam Film Festivals have been carefully selected for presentation. New films being premiered at the festival include a Cambodian social realist film, a Filipino suspense/horror, and a dream-like documentary from Thailand reminiscent of the works of master filmmakers such as Tsai Ming-liang and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. The new forces of contemporary Southeast Asian cinema will be on full display, and the festival organizers hope to promote a fruitful exchange between Taiwan and Southeast Asia and stimulate the spirit of competition among Taiwanese filmmakers. Audiences will also have the opportunity to develop a better understanding of outstanding Southeast Asian filmmakers.The unquestioned highlight of the festival is the Taipei Film Awards, which are divided into four categories: Feature Films, Documentaries, Short Films, and Animations. Over ten films will be selected in each category, and each nominated film will be in the running for acting and technical awards, while also being in contention for the NT$1 million Grand Prize. The shortlist was announced on May 16. President Mark Lee Ping-Bing said in his address that this year's Taipei Film Awards has received 293 entries and more than half of the shortlisted entries come from first-time contenders—testament to the fact that this film platform that belongs to the people of Taiwan is fulfilling its mission to promote innovation and heritage.The 19th Taipei Film Festival 2017 will open on June 29 and continue until July 15. More than 160 films will be shown, along with lectures from filmmaker, fan events, and an outdoor market for film merchandise. This will be the largest film festival this summer and you can’t afford to miss it! Please keep an eye on the Taipei Film Festival official website (http: //www.taipeiff.taipei/) and Facebook page (https: //www.facebook.com/TaipeiFilmFestival/).