Ang Lee wins US award
Oscar-winning Taiwanese director Ang Lee (李安) received the 2012 best director award from the North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA) on Tuesday for Life of Pi (少年PI的奇幻漂流), his third such honor for the year. Lee defeated several other hopefuls, including Kathryn Bigelow, who directed Zero Dark Thirty, David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, Paul Thomas Anderson for The Master, Wes Anderson for Moonrise Kingdom and Rian Johnson for Looper. The award was Lee’s third best director award for the film, following a Kansas City Film Critics Circle award announced in December and another from the Las Vegas Film Critics Society that same month. Lee’s 3D fantasy was also nominated by the NCFCA for best adapted screenplay, but did not win.
Travel program expanded
A program that allows Chinese tourists to travel independently to Taiwan will be expanded, a tourism official said yesterday. Chang Shi-chung (張時中), deputy director-general of the Tourism Bureau and vice president of the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association (TSTA), said the association and its Chinese counterpart, the Cross-Strait Tourism Association, have reached an agreement to extend the free independent travel program to an additional number of Chinese cities. Currently, residents of 13 cities — Jinan, Xian, Fuzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Tianjin, Chongqing, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Chengdu — are permitted to travel as independent visitors and not just in tour groups. Arrivals from China last year totaled 2.58 million, an annual increase of 44.96 percent, according to the TSTA’s Beijing office. Of that number, 190,676 were independent travelers, which represented an annual increase of 529.69 percent, the office said.
Cold weather expected
The weather could be at its coldest between today and tomorrow, with northern and eastern parts of the country likely to see rainfall, the Central Weather Bureau said yesterday. The bureau also warned of strong winds between today and Saturday in southern areas, as well as in Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu. The chill could start to ease up on Saturday, when clear skies are expected countrywide, it said. Tamsui recorded the lowest temperature this winter on Dec. 30, reaching a low of 7.3°C.
Taipei-based film to open
The romantic comedy film Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? (明天記得愛上我), directed by Arvin Chen (陳駿霖) and set in Taipei, has been included in the Panorama program of the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival. The film will have its world premiere at the 63rd annual film festival, which runs from Feb. 7 to Feb. 17. It is part of a lineup of 31 fictional features from 23 countries that have been selected for Panorama’s main program to provide insight into the world of contemporary cinema production. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? is the second Mandarin feature film from Chen, a 34-year-old American of Taiwanese descent, following Au Revoir Taipei (一頁台北), also a romantic comedy set in Taipei, which won the Best Asian Film Award from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema at the 60th Berlin Film Festival. Chen’s first short film, MEI (美), won a Silver Berlin Bear at the festival in 2007.