In light of the continuous revival of Taiwanese cinema, the Taipei Film Festival (台北電影節) took the initiative to hold a one-day workshop open to the country’s emerging young actors yesterday.
The organizers said the aim was to seek new faces and foster new talent for the local film industry.
Lecturer and movie producer Lee Lieh (李烈) emphasized the importance of being able to live frugally and under stress before becoming a star to a group of actors, including Hsu Hao-hsuan (徐浩軒), who played a youngster with autism in the movie Din Tao: Leader of the Parade (陣頭), Ouyang Lun (歐陽倫), who appeared in Cha Cha for Twins (寶米恰恰) and Chiang Kang-che (姜康哲), a 24-year-old model and actor who made a splash with his performance in Au Revoir Taipei (一頁台北).
“Even Jerry Yan (言承旭) began his career by playing small parts in music videos. Show business is not for everyone. You have to survive hardship and a penniless life before people get to know who you are,” the 54-year-old producer said.
Having produced the box-office hits Monga (艋舺), Jump Ashin! (翻滾吧！阿信) and Orz Boyz (囧男孩), Lee is often regarded as one of the most important players behind the recent success of Taiwanese cinema. Yet before her fruitful career behind the scenes, Lee was a popular movie actor in the 1980s.
One piece of advice the veteran filmmaker gave to the class was that there is no such thing as right or wrong acting, it is in fact a collective effort.
“When people say you look odd in films, it doesn’t necessarily mean you act badly. It can mean you act differently from others,” Lee said. “When you are acting in soap operas, you can’t look like you come from Taiwanese new wave cinema.”
Lee also pointed out the importance of presenting oneself, especially on the international stage.
“Taiwanese actors don’t really care about how they look, but when we go abroad to attend festivals, we represent Taiwan,” she said. “I think it is also an actor’s job to know how to act and dress for different occasions.”
It is the second year that the festival has organized acting camps for newcomers. Alumni from last year’s workshop include Kai Ko (柯震東), who became an instant star after appearing in You Are the Apple of My Eye (那些年，我們一起追的女孩).
The Taipei Film Festival is scheduled to open tomorrow at Zhongshan Hall and it runs through July 21. More information can be found at www.taipeiff.org.tw.