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Taiwan film festival to open with documentary on siege of Hong Kong's PolyU

Postponed one year due to COVID, 12th edition of TIDF to run from April 30 to May 9

Protestors react as police fire tear gas near Hong Kong Polytechnic in November 2019.  

Protestors react as police fire tear gas near Hong Kong Polytechnic in November 2019.   (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A documentary that chronicles the climactic siege of Hong Kong's Polytechnic University (PolyU) during the city's pro-democracy protests will kick off the 12th Taiwan International Documentary Festival next month.

"Inside the Red Brick Wall" follows the desperate plight of over 1,000 protesters, who for nearly two weeks faced off against Hong Kong's police force amid dwindling food supplies after being trapped within the walls of PolyU campus in November 2019.

The 88-minute film was shot by an anonymous group of camerapeople who had previously produced "Occupy the Legislative Council." This featured another dramatic episode of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement and earned a nomination for "Best Documentary" at the 57th Golden Horse Awards in Taipei.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) called "Inside the Red Brick Wall" an "achievement in political reportage" that captured the "mounting tensions and shifting tactics among the encircled, and the tear gas and riot police brutality that meet attempts to break free."

The biennial film festival was originally scheduled to be held from May 1-10 of last year, but it was pushed back a year due to the pandemic.

Founded in 1998 by the Taiwanese Cabinet's Council for Cultural Affairs, TIDF regularly draws over 25,000 people every two years when it's held. In addition to films, it also organizes Q&A sessions, exhibitions, and workshops.

The festival also puts on three contests to select the best documentaries from Taiwan, Asia, and the world. Last month, organizers announced a shortlist of 44 films out of the 2,384 submitted.

The TIDF will run from April 30 to May 9, but organizers have not yet released a schedule of the screenings. Check the festival website or Facebook page for updates.

Updated : 2021-05-19 02:56 GMT+08:00