An eccentric young girl has her dreams of traveling to America dashed after her grandmother takes a tumble down the stairs. Their desolate hot springs resort is left in her care, along with a debilitating debt. What’s more, a strange young foreigner stumbles upon the resort with limited funds and even more limited Chinese. Join these two in an unusual partnership as they try to keep the resort afloat, while discovering its hidden romantic secrets. Welcome to the Happy Days will invite you on the vacation of a lifetime with its comic book-style storytelling and vibrant colors of a pre-WWII resort.
Danny, a Taiwanese-American man, and his boyfriend Tate, long to have a baby, but the journey becomes more complicated by Danny’s well-intentioned but meddlesome mother who wants to control every aspect of the process from Taipei. Baby Steps is a Taiwan-US co-production, produced by Oscar-winning producer Li-Kong Hsu (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman) and Stephen Israel (Swimming With Sharks).
In 1991, a man makes a promise to create a detailed account of the Black Kites (a specie of eagle) of Taiwan. Produced by the Raptor Research Group of Taiwan, Fly, Kite Fly! follows Chen-Chung Shen, a.k.a Mr. Eagle, on a 20-year journey across Taiwan as he observes its 200 remaining Black Kites. The film chronicles a story of rapid urbanization, conservation, and the dangers of pesticide use, through the plight of the Black Kites, borrowing the voice of famous director and scriptwriter, Wu Nien Zhen. Carefully shot scenes of the Black Kites playfully gliding over Taiwan’s coast will inspire the same desire to protect these precious creatures as it did for Mr. Eagle almost 20 years ago.
A tale of home spanning decades in war and peace, filmed over five years, the documentary tells the story of “wansei”, or Japanese who were born in Taiwan during the colonial period. After WWII, they were forcibly deported back to Japan, despite having spent almost two decades of their life in Taiwan. Now, advanced in age and with children and grandchildren of their own, the wansei are returning to Taiwan once more. Intimate and moving, the documentary explores the power of memory, nostalgia, and the lasting place of home in our hearts.
Based on a true story, up and coming directors Yu-Chieh Cheng and Lekal Sumi weave a wonderfully shot story about aboriginal rights. When Panay, a college-educated single mother, returns to her home village to attend to her sick father, she discovers a plan to turn their lands into large resorts. Rekindling her love for her home, she works with the villagers to revive the village and save their lands.
In this kinetic horror/kung-fu mash-up, an innocuous-seeming dry cleaners fronts for a hitman-for-hire operation. When a nameless contract killer becomes haunted by his former targets, he enlists a psychic for help, but their quest to make peace with the past puts them at odds with his ruthless employer. Colorful and brimming with unforgettable characters, The Laundryman puts the stylish influences of Wong Kar-Wai on the spin cycle. (Chicago Film Festival)
Evocative of both The Virgin Suicides and Lorca’s House of Bernarda Alba, this (French-made) Turkish drama is the tale of five young, free-spirited sisters, house-bound and married off, one by one, at the insistence of their conservative muslim uncle and grandmother. Rich in character, nuance and beauty, Mustang has won international acclaim everywhere it has shown. Nominee: Academy Awards, Best Foreign Language Film