Tag Archives: New People Cinema

Taiwan Film Days

Taiwan Film Days focuses on the best contemporary Taiwanese cinema and provides Bay Area audiences with a unique opportunity to view bold new Taiwanese films and engage with visionary filmmakers. Marking its fifth year, San Francisco Film Society’s (SFFS) programmer Sean Uyehara said that without a doubt, this year’s Taiwan Film Days is the most eclectic yet. Included in the line-up are films already screened at celebrated international film festivals such as Cannes, Toronto and Locarno.

The photos below are a sample from the TFD over the last five years. This year’s festival has relocated to the Vogue Theater in the Marina District. Despite the new location, the festival has grown and has proved to be the best TFD yet.


The 5th Taiwan Film Days at the Vogue Theater in San Francisco (November 2013)


Fung Kai (left), director of Din Tao, takes questions from the audience. SFFS’s programmer Sean Uyehara at his right (October 2012)


TECO chief, Bruce Fuh (center), talks to Ted Hope (left), then executive director of SFFS, and Amanda Todd, SFFS’s development manager at the TFD reception (October 2012)


Tsao Jui-yuan (right), director of Joyful Reunion, is greeted by the audience (October 2012)


Manfred Peng, TECO’s press director (right), stands with Wang Chi-tsai (director of Formosa Mambo) (middle) and Huang Hsin-yao (director of Taivalu) (October 2011)


Long lines for TFD in front of New People Cinema in San Francisco (October 2011)


More long lines for TFD in front of New People Cinema (October 2011)

Taiwan Film Days 2012, Oct 12-14

Seven feature films will be a part of this year’s line-up for Taiwan Film Days in San Francisco. The weekend-long event will open with Din Tao: Leader of the Parade on Friday evening, October 12 at 6:30pm. The opening reception will begin at 8:30pm in the Superfrog Gallery located on the third floor of the New People Building (1746 Post Street) in the heart of San Francisco’s Japantown.

Immediately after the first screening of Din Tao, director Fung Kai will take questions from the audience. Alongside the director will be a Nezha the Third Prince full-body puppet. Added to the festivities, troupe members will be on hand to perform and to explain the costume and the customs related to this deity.

Din Tao: Leader of the Parade will show again at 9:30pm in the New People Cinema. The film has a wonderful Taiwanese flavor, with a mix of Taiwanese-Mandarin dialogue that is very much a part of Taiwan today. The story focuses on Ah-Tai, a mediocre guitarist who returns to Taichung, where his father runs a Nezha troupe. While at home, tensions run high as his father and Ah-Tai continue to butt heads. A gradual thawing takes place as the son begins to lead the troupe in his father’s stead.

Along with Taiwan’s newest blockbusters, audiences can also enjoy A Brighter Summer Day, made in 1991. Set in the 1960s, director Edward Yang meticulously reconstructs the feel of Taiwanese society during the tumultuous time of White Terror and rampant youth gangs. The story is based on Taiwan’s first juvenile homicide where a 14 year-old boy kills his girlfriend. Yang, who passed away more than five years ago, is still considered a figurehead in New Taiwanese Media. The film is 4 hours long and will screen on Sunday, October 14 at 2pm.

Jump! Ashin, the runaway hit from 2011 will be the first film in Friday’s line-up. Ashin falls in love with gymnastics at an early age, but when his mother yanks him from his high school team, he loses his rudder in life. Soon he gets involved with the wrong crowd and his life begins to spiral out of control. The movie will show on Friday afternoon at 3pm and again on Saturday evening at 6:30pm. The film is based on director Lin Yu-Hsien’s older brother

Saturday’s line-up begins with Joyful Reunion, a layering of love stories – one about a couple’s long-distance relationship between China and Taiwan, and another, an old love separated by war, but one that has been preserved through the decades. Visually stunning, the film is a celebration of food and eating, and how the remembrance of certain scents and tastes are forever inscribed in us. The film screens on Saturday, October 13 at 1:30pm and is the last festival film on Sunday, October 14 at 9pm.

Days We Stared at the Sun follows the friendship between two unlikely high school classmates, one a mellow honor student and the other, a volatile delinquent. Although their intentions are admirable, there always appears to be a foreboding shadow of violence and tragedy. The film will screen on Saturday, October 13 at 4pm.

Ye Zai (Chinese for coconut), is the nickname of a bounty hunter who makes his money by hunting illegal aliens. When his father’s foreign caregiver goes missing, he hurries to track her down before his family reports her to the authorities. In the process, Ye Zai’s callousness wears off as he begins to understand the woman’s driving motivation. The two showings are on Saturday, October 13 at 9:30pm and Sunday, October 14 at noon.

Another Sunday film is Blowfish. When Kizo-Zhun catches her boyfriend cheating on her, she auctions their pet blowfish online. She then brings the blowfish to the buyer in the countryside, and remains there. The most erotic movie in the line-up, the characters’ pain is conveyed in the desperate silence that is a part of their solitary lives. Blowfish screens on Sunday night, October 14 at 7pm.

To purchase tickets for the films, please click here.

Jump! Ashin
Friday, October 12 at 3pm
Saturday, October 13 at 6:30pm

Din Tao: Leader of the Parade
Friday, October 12 at 6:30 and 9:30pm

Opening Night Party
Friday, October 12 at 8:30pm

Joyful Reunion
Saturday, October 13 at 1:30pm
Sunday, October 14 at 9:00pm 

Days We Stared at the Sun
Saturday, October 13, 4:00pm

Ye Zai
Saturday, October 13, 9:30pm
Sunday, October 14, 12:00pm

A Brighter Summer Day
Sunday, October 14 at 2:00pm

Sunday, October 14 at 7:00pm

Taiwan Film Days 2011

Opening Night Reception at 9:00 pm on Friday, October 14

Formosa Mambo International Premiere

Friday, October 14, Movies at 7:00 and 9:45 pm

A kidnapping goes awry when the young hostage’s family refuses to take it  seriously. Stuck with a hostage and now on the run, the kidnappers’ situation  becomes a comedy of errors with delicious plot twists and double crosses. Director Wang Chi-tsai in person.


Taivalu North American Premiere

Saturday, October 15 at 1:30 pm

The island nation of Tuvalu is expected to be the first victim of rising sea levels associated with climate  change. This documentary examines the current situation in Tuvalu  and draws parallels to ecological situations facing Taiwan.  Winner of Grand Prize and Best Documentary Prize at 2011 Taipei  International Film Festival. In Taiwanese with subtitles. Director Huang Hsin-yao in person.


Pinoy Sunday

Saturday, October 15  at 4:00 pm  and Sunday, October 16  at 7:00 pm

In this charming comedy, two immigrant workers from the Philippines labor in a strict factory six days a week. On their day off, they find a sofa  that they are determined to take back to their workers’ dorm across town.  Without transport and laboring under a curfew,  it becomes an epic journey. In Tagalog and Mandarin with subtitles.


You Are the Apple of  My Eye North American Premiere

Friday, October 14 at 4:30 pm and Saturday, October 15 at 6:00 pm

Ko-teng has a crush on the beautiful class overachiever, Shen Chia-yi, as do most of his close-knit group of roguish friends. When a friendship serendipitously blossoms between the two, romance may seem inevitable, but what develops is infinitely sweeter. This directing debut of megastar novelist Giddens was a hit at the Taipei International Film Festival this year. In Mandarin with subtitles.


Honey Pupu  U.S. Premiere

Saturday, October 14 at 9:00 pm

A character named Dog, the key to a young woman’s love life, disappears, and she aims to track him down through his social media network. In Chen Hung-i’s exploration of networked communications and virtual friendships, the characters begin combining their online lives with their real ones, coming to grips with  what it means to live in an age of constant acceleration. In Mandarin with subtitles.


The Coming of Tulku International Premiere

Sunday, October 16  at 1:00 pm

A man of gentle paradox, 90-year-old poet Zhou Meng-die displays a particular economy of speech, gesture and expression belying his racing mental acuity. The audience is eased into the rhythm as Zhou’s life as it unfolds slowly and with purpose, thick with small pleasures. Those who allow themselves to be swept  into his perspective will find they are gently nudged into experiencing another mode of being. In Mandarin with subtitles.


Bear It  International Premiere

Sunday, October 16 at 4:15 pm

In Cheng Fen-fen’s comedy, Peter is a travel guide and chaperone for teddy bears sent on tours by their families. When he is in an auto accident and three of the bears go missing, his attempts to replace them, which results in a number of human entanglements that his work with inanimate objects was designed to help him avoid. Soon he is enmeshed in a roving band of misfits far more
unpredictable than his usual passengers. In Mandarin with subtitles.


Ranger International Premiere

Sunday, October 16 at 9:00 pm

A convicted murderer is released from prison after 25 years. Finding himself immediately reimmersed into the violent rotherhood of mob society once again. He soon faces ostracism and is on the run when he becomes protective of the mob boss’ abused child. A riveting story of multigenerational violence and retribution whose cycle can only be broken from within. In Taiwanese with

Film tickets and Venue
$11 for SFFS members, $13 general, $12 seniors, students and persons with disabilities; Opening night film and party $15 for SFFS members, $20 general; Film Society CineVoucher 10-Packs $105 for SFFS members, $125 general. Purchase online at sffs.org or in person at San Francisco Film Society. All screenings will be at the New People Cinema on 1746 Post Street, in San Francisco’s Japantown.

Taiwan Film Days, Oct 14-16

Celebrate the best of contemporary Taiwanese films by attending this year’s Taiwan Film Days at the New People Cinema in San  Francisco’s Japantown. The three-day event offers something for everyone, from soft romantic love to gritty gangster flicks and light-hearted comedies to thought-provoking documentaries. Join the opening night festivities at 9 pm on October 14 at the gallery of the New People Building (1746 Post Street, between Webster and Buchanan Streets).

Formosa Mambo opens the festival on Friday evening with screening at 7 and 9:45 pm. Although scheduled to be the first film in the line-ups, it was usurped by You Are the Apple of My Eye at 4:30 pm on Friday. The movie was a hit at this year’s Taipei International Film Festival and the movie has received a lot of press in the Chinese media since. Initially, the San Francisco Film Society scheduled only one showing on Saturday evening, but when the tickets quickly sold out, another showing was added on the opening day. Both showings are now sold out, with only a few rush tickets set aside.

This year, two directors from Taiwan will be present at Taiwan Film Days. Wang Chi-tsai, the director of Formosa Mambo, will be here for the opening night and be present to answer questions after his film. A Golden Bell award-winning director, he also wrote the screen play for this movie as well. Formosa Mambo, a comedy of errors about a kidnapping gone awry, is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Along with Wang, director Huang Hsin-yao will also be present at the festival. Huang directed the documentary Taivalu about the impending plight of the island nation of Tuvalu, predicted to be the first island to be submerged due to global warming. The film won the Grand Prize and Best Documentary Prize at the 2011 Taipei International Film Festival.

This year’s line-up also include: Bear It, The Coming of Tulku, Honey Pupu, Pinoy Sunday, and Ranger. For more information about tickets, venue and the films, please visit this issue’s Photo Gallery.

Taiwan Film Days is presented by the San Francisco Film Society and sponsored by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in San Francisco, Taiwan’s Government Information Office, Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau, and EVA Air. Its media sponsors are Hyphen Magazine and San Francisco Bay Guardian.