When the Urban Nomad Film Fest (城市游牧影展) started out as a party among friends in 2002, few would expect it to last. Fifteen years after, the annual festival has grown to become an important cultural event, where people come to share, engage and have fun through a series of film screenings, discussions and parties.
As in the past, this year’s festival features some of the most hilarious and thought-provoking indie films, covering topics ranging from art and youth subcultures to activism and social justice.
HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISM
Photo courtesy of Urban Nomad Film Festival
US-based Chinese director Wang Nanfu’s (王男?) Hooligan Sparrow exposes government surveillance and corruption in China.
Following the screening on May 21, Wang will discuss the difficulties human rights activists in China face — government interrogation, harassment, imprisonment — as well as her own run-ins with authorities.
Act and activism go hand in hand in Art War, which follows four young Egyptian graffiti artists and musicians as they take part in the peaceful revolution during and after the 2011 Arab Spring.
Photo courtesy of Urban Nomad Film Festival
The documentary makes an engaging exploration of arts as a powerful means of resistance and conveying personal politics.
The film’s director Marco Wilms will attend the festival and discuss his work in post-screening Q&A sessions.
MUSIC FOR THE MASSES
Photos courtesy of Urban Nomad Film Festival
Activism aside, music enthusiasts also have plenty to choose from the festival’s lineup of over 60 feature, documentary, short and music video works from France, Germany, Canada, Cambodia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the US.
Rubble Kings, for example, brings the audience back to the streets of New York under gang control in the late 1960s and early 1970s and tells the long forgotten story of how gang members decided to stop bloodshed by throwing block parties, which gave birth to hip-hop culture.
Fans of Motorhead, Rammstein, Anvil and the likes may want to check out Wacken: the Movie, which delivers an exciting portrait of Wacken Open Air, the biggest heavy-metal festival in the world.
Meanwhile, Mad Tiger zooms in on New York-based Peelander-Z, which describes itself as a “Japanese action comic punk band hailing from the Z area of Planet Peelander.”
On Sunday, several filmmakers and musicians from Germany, Taiwan and the UK will discuss the issue of documenting music.
What: Urban Nomad Film Festival (城市游牧影展)
Where: Wonderful Theater (真善美戲院), 7F, 116 Hanzhong St, Taipei City (台北市漢中街116號7樓)
When: Through May 22
Admission: Advance tickets are NT$200 and can be purchased at tickets.books.com.tw. Tickets are available at the door for NT$230. Festival package containing four tickets costs NT$720
On the net: www.urbannomad.tw
I was in a warehouse in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley, anxiously scribbling in my reporter’s notebook while waiting for a porn shoot to begin. Charles Dera, a performer with jet-black hair and a well-groomed beard to match, crouched in front of me, stretching his calves. Tommy Gunn, a performer named after his biceps, sat on the floor flipping through a release form. He hopped to a stand and asked to borrow my pen. As a journalist, I had been on porn sets more times than I can count, but this shoot was making me uncharacteristically nervous. I started looking at porn as
Last week the news broke that Time magazine selected Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) as one of the global top 100 emerging leaders, “individuals who are shaping the future.” Chiang, who will be 48 in a couple of weeks, heads a dying former authoritarian party that opposes independence for Taiwan and advocates annexing it to China, and is not so much shaping the future as trying to prevent it from happening. Johnny Chiang? Can the reader name any of the half-dozen or so interim chairs the KMT has had since Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) resigned in 2005? Comically,
For most residents of Taiwan, the word “Kenting” conjures up images of white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, jet skis and maybe a crowded night market. Among all the commotion, it’s easy to forget that Kenting is in fact a national park, with a mission to protect the natural environment. For those looking to escape the crowds, learn more about southern Taiwan’s ecology, or simply add some variety to a beach holiday, the Ecological Protection Areas of Kenting National Park are an excellent addition to any trip. The four Ecological Protection Areas open to the public are all located on the less
Feb. 22 to Feb. 28 For 73 years, an imposing gateway leading to the eastern shore of Makung (馬公) praised the people of Penghu for remaining peaceful during the 228 Incident According to a plaque on the structure, when Taiwan’s population rose up against the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Feb. 28, 1947, “only Penghu remained calm.” After brutally suppressing the incident, the KMT forbade people from discussing the uprising for decades. As a result, it was the only monument throughout Taiwan that mentioned the 228 Incident until activists put one up in Chiayi in 1989 to commemorate the