The Indian Film Festival (印度影展) will be held from Dec. 31 to Jan. 2 at SPOT Taipei Film House. It will showcase new film styles from India and 30 Bollywood films, but first, viewers should prepare for the Taiwan International Documentary Festival (台灣國際紀錄片雙年展), which begins tomorrow and runs through Dec. 17.
The fourth biennial Taiwan International Documentary Festival will no doubt be the biggest party for Taiwan's documentary circle. The event strives to compete with Japan's Yamagata International Documentary Festival, the largest in Asia.
This year, TIDF has prepared a lineup of 122 films from 40 countries. The number of filmmakers in attendance has also reached a new high: 40 documentary makers from around the world will be in Taipei, either vying for the top prize of NT$300,000 or coming for special screenings of their work.
Honored guests include the female pioneer of 1960s French New Wave Agnes Varda, Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai and Japanese director Naomi Kawase.
The festival will hold the world premiere of Kawase's Shadow and the Asia premieres of Werner Herzog's The White Diamond (2004) and Gitai's House (1980).
The festival hosts three competition categories: the International Competition, offering a NT$300,000 grand prize, and the Asian Vision Competition and Taiwan Award Competition, each offering a first-place NT$200,000 cash prize.
The are seven exhibition sections, which hold non-competitive screening sessions. The Right to Intervene section showcases films about relations between media manipulation and politics or revolution. Death, Be Not Proud shows 11 films covering the end of life and its meaning.
Documentary in Trance is a collection of first-person perspective films that test the boundaries between documentaries and experimental films. La Lucane's tribute to Luciano Rigolini showcases selections from ARTE, France's European arts TV channel. The jury screenings shows films from jury members.
Border Inside -- Postcard from Amos Gitai includes 10 films about the past 20 years of the Israel-Palestine relationship. Gitai, the Israeli filmmaker who has been making films about the issue since 1980, will show viewers the invisible borders inside people's hearts.
Still another attraction to this festival is its ticket price. Sponsored by the Council of Cultural Affairs, the festival costs only NT$10 per ticket available at SPOT -- Taipei Film House.
Like the programs at the film festival, the screening venues are varied. The Showtime Cinemas, SPOT -- Taipei Film House and Shih-ming Hall of the Taiwan Cement Building are the three main screening venues. There are also outdoor screenings at Huashan Cultural Center.
Grab a film festival booklet at Eslite Bookstores or visit www.tidf.org.tw.
For your information: from tomorrow (Dec. 11) to Dec. 17, Taipei Times will have daily full-page coverage on the Taiwan International Documentary Festival.