New talent film competition begins at Taipei Film Festival

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Taipei Film Festival runs June 25-July 11. (Taipei Film Festival photo)

Taipei Film Festival runs June 25-July 11. (Taipei Film Festival photo)

A dozen full-length feature films by new and emerging filmmakers around the world began screening Friday (June 27) in a competition for new talent at the annual Taipei Film Festival.

A total of 12 films by filmmakers from Japan, China, Brazil, Kosovo, Portugal, Taiwan, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Lesotho, Denmark and Uruguay have been accepted in the festival's International New Talent Competition this year.

One of the movies in the competition that was screened that day was a drama titled "Song Without a Name" by Peruvian filmmaker Melina León. The film is León's debut feature and was selected for the Directors' Fortnight at Cannes in 2019.

The 97-minute black and white feature is based on the true story about a young woman's desperate search for her newborn daughter, who was stolen at a fake health clinic. The woman's search for her child takes her to a newspaper publisher where a journalist takes on the investigation.

Another movie that was also screened was the 123-minute drama "Desterro" by Brazilian filmmaker Maria Clara Escobar. The film, her first feature, was in the Tiger Award Competition at the 2020 International Film Festival Rotterdam.

"Desterro" centers around Laura and Israël, a Brazilian couple in their mid-30s who have a 5-year-old son. One day, after the couple's relationship breaks down, Laura disappears, only for Israël to learn of her death and that her body is in Argentina.

As the couple were not married and have no savings, Israël faces the problems of trying to bring Laura's body home.

The last movie screened that day was "The Painting Of Evil," by emerging Taiwanese director Chen Yung-chi (陳永錤).

The 83-minute feature revolves around a middle-aged painter, Hsu Pao-ching, who struggles in his career. By chance, the painter begins giving lessons in a prison, where he discovers talent in one of the inmates, Chou Cheng-ting.

However, Hsu is unable to hold an exhibition for Chou because of his past crimes, which leads to a series of protests against his works being displayed.

Other films in the competition, which will be screened over the next few days are "Ainu Mosir" by Japanese filmmaker Takeshi Fukunaga, "The Cloud in Her Room" by Chinese filmmaker Zheng Lu Xinyuan, "Exile" by Visar Morina, "The Metamorphosis of Birds" by Portuguese filmmaker Catarina Vasconcelos, and "Leaving Virginia" by Taiwanese filmmaker Lin Li-shu (林立書).

They also include "Scales" by Saudi filmmaker Shahad Ameen, "This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection" by Berlin-based filmmaker Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese from Lesotho, "Uncle" by Danish director Frelle Petersen and "Window Boy Would Also Like to Have a Submarine" by Uruguayan filmmaker Alex Piperno.

People who wish to view the screenings can log onto the Taipei Film Festival's website to find out about screening times and ticketing information.

The winner of a grand prize and special jury prize, worth NT$600,000 (US$20,329) and NT$300,000, respectively, will be announced on Monday.

However, an actual award ceremony will not be held because not all of the international filmmakers will be able to come to Taiwan due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the festival organizers said.

The 2020 Taipei Film Festival, which opened Thursday, will run until July 11.