Hauntingly beautiful, The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni by Lebanese artist Rania Stephan weaves together archival footage of the movies starring Soad Hosni, to meditate on the life of the Egyptian screen diva said to have captivated the modern Arab imagination. Lithuanian documentary Conversations on Serious Topics, on the other hand, is a surprisingly engaging work shot in a minimalist fashion as it contains merely dialogues with children and teenagers on topics such as God, love, loneliness and the world.
As for the selection of Taiwanese productions this year, Lo points out that Taiwan’s female directors have increasingly shown interest in diverse stories and styles. Eggs Matter (卵實力) by actress-turned-filmmaker Jessie Chang (張本渝), for example, takes a personal look at the controversies surrounding egg freezing, while the life of troubled teens is explored in seasoned documentary director Kuo Shiao-yun’s (郭笑芸) School on the Road (少年鼓手). The lives of immigrants from Southeast Asian countries are explored in Out/Marriage (失婚記) by Vietnamese director Nguyen Kim Hong about four Vietnamese immigrant women in Taiwan and Rainbow Popcorn (彩虹芭樂), which follows several Philippine lesbian couples as they travel to Dubai, Kuwait and Bahrain to work and support their families back home.
Apart from film screenings, the festival hosts a plethora of events and activities such as forums and lectures held by international guests including directors Chkonia and Beth B as well as representatives from women’s film festivals in India, Japan, South Korea and Israel.
The opening party, featuring performance by punk rockers The White Eyes (白目) and BDSM Company’s (皮繩愉虐邦) bondage/domination and sadomasochism (BDSM) show, takes place at M Cubic, a lesbian nightclub located on the 12th floor of the Core Pacific City Living Mall (京華城), tomorrow beginning at 8pm. Tickets cost NT$400 at the door, which includes one drink.