A virtual-reality (VR) film featuring Malaysian-born, Taiwan-based director Tsai Ming-liang (蔡明亮) in the lead role is to premiere in a lineup of “immersive” films at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival in June, the festival announced on Tuesday.
Missing Pictures Episode 2: Tsai Ming-liang is the second installment in a series of documentary shorts by French filmmaker Clement Deneux that focuses on directors’ favorite stories that they were never able to bring to the big screen.
The film, which can be viewed using VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, was one of 11 to be selected for the “Virtual Arcade” category of the festival’s immersive cinema lineup.
Speaking at the Kaohsiung Film Festival in October last year, Tsai said that his role in the film was to narrate a story from his childhood, while the movie’s production crew captured his facial expressions and gestures.
The first film in the planned five-part Missing Pictures series was an eight-minute piece on US director Abel Ferrara, which was produced by a multinational team, including Taiwan’s Public Television Service (PTS) and Serendipity Films.
This year would be the fourth consecutive year a Taiwanese VR film has been featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, following Chalkroom (沙中房間) in 2018, Mr Buddha (董仔的人) in 2019, and Home (舊家) and Great Hoax: The Moon Landing (星際大騙局之登月計) last year.
This year’s festival is to return as an in-person event, running from June 9 to June 20, after moving to a virtual format last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tsai, 63, is the acclaimed director of films including Vive L’Amour (愛情萬歲), which won a Golden Lion (best picture) award at the 1994 Venice Film Festival, and the 2013 feature Stray Dogs (郊遊).
His latest film, Days (日子), starring long-time collaborator Lee Kang-sheng (李康生), was released last year.
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