2023 TTXC Kaohsiung Film Festival officially opens with 50 VIP guests in attendance
The 2023 TTXC (Taiwan Technology X Culture Expo) Kaohsiung Film Festival officially kicked off today (October 7)! The red carpet and opening ceremony was held in the evening on the ground floor main hall of the Kaohsiung Main Public Library, with Aviis ZHONG and DJ JoJo hosting the celebration and popular festival ambassador TSENG Ching-hua being the first to walk down the red carpet. The Kaohsiung Film Festival will run for 16 days and screen a total of 207 short films and 30 XR works. Over 112 sessions will feature post-screening activities with filmmakers, bringing together more than 200 domestic and international film and television industry dignitaries in star-studded Kaohsiung.
When Aviis ZHONG, who served as the 2018 Kaohsiung Film Festival ambassador, asked for film recommendations, this year’s ambassador TSENG Ching-hua noted that there are many beautiful films in this year's “Aestheticism” annual theme section. He said the actors in One of the Boys left a deep impression on him, and also recommended Okiku and the World from the “Transforming Japan” section. Additionally, he found the VR films to be very innovative, telling Aviis that the fun is in checking out everything!
Kaohsiung mayor CHEN Chi-mai said in his speech that Kaohsiung is a city that pursues innovation, and that its film and television industry policies and grasp of global trends have made it one of the best cities to film in. From the Kaohsiung Film Fund’s film investments, the Kaohsiung Shorts grant program and VR film subsidies to the international short film and XR competitions, as well as international residency program, the results of all this innovation have converged at Kaohsiung Film Festival. This year, 88 groups of foreign filmmakers have come to Kaohsiung, elevating the city's achievements in film onto the world stage. Mayor CHEN notes that the theme of this year's festival is “Aestheticism” and features many films about love and refreshing subject matter, reflecting Kaohsiung Film Festival's encouragement of continuous experimentation and new ideas. He hopes through the Kaohsiung Film Fund, Kaohsiung Shorts, and VR film subsidies, Kaohsiung can provide directors and actors with more opportunities to pursue their dreams, adding that Kaohsiung has witnessed many possibilities from cutting-edge filmmakers over the past 23 years.
The opening ceremony of Kaohsiung Film Festival began with the red carpet. The first film to be introduced was The Time of Huannan, Taiwan's representative in this year's “Aestheticism” section, with director Leading LEE gracing the stage alongside actors Edison SONG, HSIA Teng-hung, CHU Meng-hsuan, WANG Yu-ping, YuJin, and WANG Yun-ting. This was followed by the team behind PTS Tagi TV Station's The Never Old Killers, featuring director HSIA Jui-chien, producer CHOU Jun-hua, and recently married actress LEE Yi-chieh.
Domestic and international filmmakers of the “XR Dreamland” section are also at the Kaohsiung Film Festival this year. They include Taiwanese “visual poet” CHOU Tung-yen, Gumball Dreams director Christopher Lane DAVIS, and Emanuela RIGHI, producer of the France-Taiwan co-production and AR (Augmented Reality) work COLORED.
Renowned Japanese filmmaker UCHIDA Eiji, who gained recognition in Taiwan with The Naked Director, has two films screening at Kaohsiung Film Festival this year: Life of Mariko in Kabukicho and Matched. Returning to Taiwan for the first time in six years, UCHIDA said he is very happy to once again meet with Taiwanese film enthusiasts and looks forward to engaging with everyone after the screenings.
The feature film version of The Eighth Sense, this year's top South Korean BL drama, is also at the festival, with lead actors LIM Ji-sub and OH Jun-taek greeted with the shrieks of enthusiastic fans as they took to the stage. Both actors said they were delighted to have the opportunity to visit Taiwan and were surprised that they had so many Taiwanese fans. OH even greeted the audience in Taiwanese Hokkien, demonstrating his friendly charm.
This year's opening film, The Bridge Curse: Ritual, made its world premiere at the Kaohsiung Film Festival that night, with director Lester SHIH, producer HAO Po-hsiang, and actors JC LIN, WANG Yu-xuan, Patrick SHIH, HU Shih-an, Boris WANG, Riko XI, CHAN Tzu-hsuan, and Linus WANG all in attendance. The film is a sequel to 2020's The Bridge Curse, which grossed 60 million TWD at the box office despite the pandemic-induced challenges. Prior to its release, the sequel had already secured theater distribution rights in 41 countries worldwide. Lester SHIH expressed his gratitude for the audience's appreciation of the first film and said he hopes the sequel's world premiere will enjoy a positive reception.
Kaohsiung mayor CHEN Chi-mai and director CHENG Wen-tang were the last to take the stage. This year, CHENG collaborated with the Kaohsiung City Government and received funding from the Kaohsiung Film Fund to complete his first TV series. Many of CHENG's film projects have been shot in Kaohsiung, making him a familiar face at Kaohsiung Film Festival. He recalled a past experience in which he needed to shoot an important scene with a crowd of more than a hundred people, and thanks to the assistance of Kaohsiung's Film Development and Production Center, he was able to complete this in just two days. CHENG noted that Kaohsiung has long been devoted to developing the film and television industry, and that for many young filmmakers, Kaohsiung Shorts and the Kaohsiung Film Fund have become a goal and a brand. Becoming such a brand is a long journey and no easy feat, he added.
Jointly presented by the Ministry of Culture and Kaohsiung City Government, the TTXC will take place in Kaohsiung from October 7 to October 22. An integral part of this grand event is Kaohsiung Film Festival’s XR Dreamland, which serves as an important demonstration of Kaohsiung’s cultural and technological achievements. The Kaohsiung Film Festival will be held from October 7 (Sat) to October 22 (Sun) across various locations, including Kaohsiung Public Main Library, Kaohsiung Film Archive, Neiwei Arts Center, VR Film Lab, and Kaohsiung Music Center. To purchase Kaohsiung Film Festival tickets, please visit the OPENTIX platform. For more information, please visit Kaohsiung Film Festival’s official website (www.kff.tw), Instagram, and Facebook.