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2017 Taipei Film Festival opens with “The Great Buddha +” today

2017/06/29

The 2017 Taipei Film Festival opens on the evening of 29th June with The Great Buddha + world premiere in the Zhongshan Hall tonight. At its world premiere, executive producer Yeh Ju-fen, director Huang Hsin-yao and the cast, including Chen Chu-sheng, Chuang Yi-tseng, Ting Kuo-lin, Nadou, Chang Shao-huai, Hsiao Liang-ge and Chen Yi-wen, music composer Lin Sheng-hsiang, the Chair of the Taipei Film Festival Mark Lee Ping-bing and the 2017 Taipei Film Festival ambassadors, Wu Kang-jen and Jenny Wen all attend the event. Director Huang Hsin-yao expresses that he feels like coming home today since his short films and documentaries were screened at the Taipei Film Festival, and he is very happy that his first feature is chosen as this year’s opening film. When the Chair of the Taipei Film Festival Mark Lee Ping-bing addresses to the audiences, he thanks everyone who has come the screenings, allowing the Festival to keep growing, and he makes it clear that the Festival is wholeheartedly dedicated to the Taiwanese cinema.

 

Chair of the Taipei Film Festival Mark Lee Ping-bing 

 

The Great Buddha + is an extension of Huang’s 2014 Golden Horse Award nominated short film, The Great Buddha. Huang explains that The Great Buddha is a concept while The Great Buddha + is the materialisation of the concept, turning it into a story that looks deeper into more issues. The story begins with two protagonists secretly watching the footage recorded on their boss’s dashboard camera. Huang is fascinated by the fact that on such footage, the image recorded is what is seen outside the car while the sound is what is heard inside the vehicle as if they came from two different worlds, and that inspired him to show the reality in black and white and the recorded footage in colour. Yeh Ju-fen, the executive producer, praises its visual presentation, which is not only highly stylised but full of Taiwanese features and assures the audiences that they would love such a unique film.

 

Chen Yi-wen, Chang Shao-huai, Nadou, executive producer Yeh Ju-fen, director Huang Hsin-yao, the cast Chuang Yi-tseng, Chen Chu-sheng, Ting Kuo-lin

 

The Golden Bell Award-winning actor Chen Chu-sheng plays the protagonist Bellybutton. He expresses that what he remembers best about the performance is that he had to learn how people in the southern Taiwan talk, and he had made several attempts as he did when working in theatre. Once during the shooting, he had stopped having a shower for three days just to experience what life was like for those who were marginalised in society.

Chuang Yi-tseng, Chen Chu-sheng, Ting Kuo-lin

 

As most of the members of cast and crew of The Great Buddha + had worked together on Chung Meng-hung’s Godspeed (2016), Nadou, who played the shop assistant in the grocery, felt very comfortable during the shooting. Despite the eye infection he suffers at the moment, Nadou joins his fellow actors at the world premiere. Moreover, Chang Shao-huai, who plays the supporting character that speaks only one line in the film, smiles and explains it in a good humour. ‘Without the lines, I’m given more freedom to express myself!’

Chen Yi-wen, Chang Shao-huai

 

Nominated for Best Narrative Feature at the Taipei Film Awards and selected for the International New Talent Competition, The Great Buddha + is director Huang Hsin-yao’s first feature film based on his 2014 Golden Horse Award nominated short film, The Great Buddha. The black humour, the vitality and the unique Taiwanese features demonstrated in the short film caught the attention from director Chung Meng-hung, who served on the jury at the time. Later Chung suggested to Huang that he should turn it into a feature. In the end, Chung Meng-hung not only became the executive producer of production but worked as director of photography. The stylish cinematography, the thrilling satirical story and the music composed by the Golden Melody Award winner Lin Sheng-hsiang make The Great Buddha + the most anticipated Taiwanese film of the year. Director Huang Hsin-yao won the Grand Prize at the Taipei Film Awards with the documentary Taivalu in 2011, and now we cannot wait to see if he would win any prize this year.  

  • Adviser: Taipei City Government (TCG), Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development, MOC
  • Co-organizers: Department of Cultural Affairs, TCG and Taipei Culture Foundation © Taipei Culture Foundation and Taipei Film Festival.
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