Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - Page 13 News List

Film festival: Celluloid journeys

The One Film, One Journey film festival brings perspectives from Southeast Asia and Iran to Taipei

By Davina Tham  /  Staff reporter

Animated short LeftOver by Iranian director Yasaman Hasani screens under One Film, One Journey’s focus on Iranian female filmmakers next Thursday.

Photo courtesy of One Film, One Journey

This year’s One Film, One Journey (一部電影,一個旅程) film festival, organized by the Ministry of Culture with National Chengchi University (NCCU), will showcase independent Southeast Asian cinema and works by Iranian female filmmakers.

“Through the journey that each film opens up, we hope the audience has an experience that is not just like that of a ‘tourist,’” said festival curator Chung Shih-fang (鍾適芳), a music producer, filmmaker and faculty member of NCCU’s College of Communication.

Entry is free to all screenings and talks, which will take place at the NCCU Art and Culture Center tomorrow and next Thursday.


The SEA Indie-Film Forum program tomorrow will present independently-produced films and documentaries from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Highlights include Bi, Don’t be Afraid by Vietnamese director Phan Dang Di, the only feature-length presentation in the program. The film about complicated adult and family relationships as seen through the eyes of a six-year-old boy won two prizes at the Cannes Critics’ Week in 2010.

Common threads running through many of the selections include migrant workers, folk religion, children’s inner lives and the urban sprawl of rapidly modernizing Southeast Asia.

“We want to take the audience down a different path to see, recognize and understand a world that we are unfamiliar with and that we do misunderstand,” Chung said.

In addition to the screenings, the filmmakers will hold talks discussing their experiences shooting on shoestring budgets, programming local cinema and cultivating the next generation of filmmakers.

Speakers include Phan, Laotian filmmaker Anysay Keola, documentary filmmakers and co-founders of Myanmar’s Wathann Film Festival Thu Thu Shein and Thaiddi and director of Bangkok Art and Culture Centre Pawit Mahasarinand.

Event notes

What: One Film, One Journey (一部電影,一個旅程) film festival

When: Tomorrow and May; 2 SEA Indie-Film Forum, tomorrow, 9:30am to 9:30pm; Focus on Iranian Women Filmmakers, May 2 from 2pm to 9:30pm

Where: National Chengchi University Art and Culture Center (政治大學藝文中心), 64, Zhinan Rd, Sec 2, Taipei City (台北市指南路二段64號)

Admission: Free; Talks are conducted in English

On the net:

All talks will be conducted in English.

Southeast Asian film has been a core aspect of One Film, One Journey since its inception in 2017. The festival started as a suggestion by the Ministry of Culture’s Southeast Asia Advisory Committee (SEAAC) to take advantage of the presence of Southeast Asian film practitioners, in town for the committee meetings, to facilitate cultural exchange.

Phan, Keola and Shein are members of the SEAAC, as is Chung.


A chance encounter between Chung and Iranian filmmaker Ghasideh Golmakani at another film festival led to the creation of a new segment this year focusing on female Iranian directors.

Iranian cinema has long graced overseas film festivals and critics’ best-of lists, with greats like Abbas Kiarostami, Jafar Panahi and Mohsen Makhmalbaf (all male) achieving international acclaim. But female auteurs have rarely been accorded the same level of recognition.

In other words, the presentation of 16 works on May 2 offers a rare concentration of female filmmaking talent from Iran.

Aside from gender diversity, One Film, One Journey’s program also deals with generational changes since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, which overthrew Iran’s monarchy and founded an Islamic republic.

Chung said that Iran’s post-revolution filmmaking generation has inherited the poetic sensibility and social realism of their New Wave predecessors, and are now telling their own incisive stories about Iranian society.

In that regard, Golmakani will deliver a keynote speech on “Poeticism and Social Realism — A Creative Manifesto for Iranian Female Filmmakers.”

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