Film headed to Sundance
The animated Taiwanese short The Present (禮物) has been nominated for the Sundance Film Festival’s animated short film award competition for next year. Directed by Joe Hsieh (謝文明), the film revolves around the conflict between strong desire and religious belief. It tells the story of a hotel manager’s daughter who falls in love with a married man who is on a business trip, but the love turns into deep hatred and sparks devastating revenge. The film, which has a voiceover in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese) was inspired by the Japanese musical tragedy Dojoji, Hsieh said. The short film has won several titles, including Best Animation at the Taipei Film Festival, and was nominated for best short film at last year’s Golden Horse Awards. It has also been featured in the San Diego Asian Film Festival, the Milan International Film Festival and the Holland Animated Film Festival. This Sundance Film Festival runs from Jan. 16 to Jan. 26.
Papering city with pandas
The city government will host an exhibition of papier-mache pandas next year to help raise awareness of wildlife protection. The city has signed a contract with French artist Paulo Grangeon to stage his 1,600 Pandas exhibition, but the dates are still under discussion, according to Left Brain, a marketing firm that is helping organize the event. Grangeon organized the first show with the French section of the WWF in July 2008 at Paris City Hall, and it has since traveled across the globe to remind the public that only 1,600 giant pandas remain in the wild. Department of Information and Tourism Commissioner Sun Ting-lung (孫廷龍) said the city hopes to stage the exhibition in late February or early March. The paper pandas for the show, which will be made by a factory in Thailand, will be auctioned off for charity after the show ends, officials said.
Avian flu warning stressed
People traveling to China should take health precautions as 10 more H7N9 avian flu cases have been reported there since October, the Central Epidemic Command Center said yesterday. Center spokesman Chou Jih-haw (周志浩) said the 10 cases included three in Guangdong Province, five in Zhejiang Province and two in Hong Kong. There have been 142 confirmed cases of the virus in China since the outbreak began at the end of March, he said. Of those, 47 patients have died. However, the cases have been sporadic and there are no signs that the H7N9 strain has been transmitted from person to person, he said.
Campus condoms popular
Two hundred boxes of condoms have been sold since vending machines dispensing boxes of condoms were installed at five universities in Greater Taichung 10 days ago, the city’s Health Bureau said yesterday, showing that there is a demand for the contraceptives. Taichung Deputy Mayor Tsai Ping-kun (蔡炳坤) used the event to launch a safe-sex initiative and bid to prevent the spread of AIDS by making it easier to purchase condoms on college campuses. Vending machines have already been installed at Hungkuang University, China Medical University, National Chung Hsing University, Chaoyang University of Technology and National Taichung University of Education. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show there were more than 20,000 people with AIDS nationwide as of last month, 72.6 percent of whom contracted the virus through unprotected sex.