Thu, Jun 15, 2017 - Page 13 News List

History, comedy… and pandas?

Now in its fourth year, the V4 Central European Film Festival continues to feature films selected by each country’s representative office in Taiwan

By Han Cheung  /  Staff reporter

The Broken Promise, Slovakia, 2009.

Photo courtesy of Infine Art and Cultural Exchange

This year’s selection for the V4 Central European Film Festival leans toward the historical, with Fever at Dawn and The Broken Promise revolving around World War II and Sir Thaddeus set in the early 1810s during the aftermath of the third and final partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, upon which the country ceased to exist.

The outlier is the Czech Republic’s selection, I Enjoy The World With You, which is a 1982 comedy about three middle-aged men whose wives force them to bring their kids along on their annual retreat. It claims to be the “best Czech comedy ever made,” which does provide it with some historical value.

‘Visegrad four’

Kicking off tonight and running through August, the festival features a film from each of the Visegrad Four, a political and cultural alliance comprising Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Each country’s representative office in Taiwan is responsible for selecting their film, and this year Slovakia has added a bonus 11-minute musical animation, The Pandas, about the aminal and their relationship with human development.

“The representatives know better about their own countries and the films that are interesting and suitable to show,” organizer Angeline Chen (陳怡君) says. “We provide the frame, but we let them make the decision.”

The films are shown for free at 10 locations around Taiwan, mostly at universities and cultural venues such as National Taiwan University’s student activity center and 25x40 Art Space in Chiayi City.

“The idea is to bring the films to the audience,” Chen says. “That allows us to maintain a small budget so we don’t have to rent a theater and advertise for people to come. Also, it’s nice to screen them in [smaller] cities because sometimes there are not that many foreign-related activities there.”

Event Notes

What: V4 Central European Film Festival

Where: Ten locations across Taiwan

When: Today through August

Admission: Free

On the Net: For a full schedule and list of locations, visit

Chen says the festival was initiated four years ago by the Hungarian representative office in Taiwan, which was then-president of the V4. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs got on board as a sponsor, and since then it’s been spearheaded by Infine Art and Cultural Exchange and the V4.

“It’s an interesting group of countries, because when put together they weigh a lot in the European Union, while separately they don’t have so much power,” she says. “Also, it’s interesting to spotlight some countries that are not so well-known in Taiwan, where in terms of tourism, most people think about Western Europe.”

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