Director Zero Chou on “Spider Lilies” and the Evolution of Taiwanese Queer Cinema

Zero Chou is the director of Spider Lilies, a compelling psychodrama released in 2007 that explores Taiwan’s online culture in the early 21st century. It remains influential to this day as one of the earliest queer films in Taiwan. Winner of the 2007 Teddy Award for Best/Gay Lesbian Feature Film, Spider Lilies was streamed at The Austin Asian American Film Festival (AAAFF) in a virtual, six-film series celebrating the past and present of queer Taiwanese cinema available September 4-13, 2020…

Austin Asian American Film Festival Announces “Prismatic Taiwan,” A Queer Film Series

[PRESS RELEASE FROM THE AUSTIN ASIAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL] Co-presented by Taiwan Academy Houston, OFTaiwan, Taiwanese American Citizens League, and Asian Cinevision; Sponsored by the Taiwan Ministry of Culture AUSTIN, TX – The Austin Asian American Film Festival (AAAFF) is thrilled to co-present a virtual, six-film series celebrating the past and present of queer Taiwanese cinema. The viewing period for all films--including exclusive filmmaker Q&As--will be September 4-13, 2020. Access…

Meet High Schooler-Founded Social Impact Small Business ‘Formosa’

IMAGE CREDITS: FORMOSA Many high school students who are of Taiwanese ethnicity spend a summer teaching English in Taiwan. Through programs such as Vox Nativa (Vox) and Connexpedition, these students have the opportunity to create connections with the native Taiwanese community. However, for Bay Area rising high school seniors and best friends, Marianne and Serena, they took their treasured memories from their summer teaching Indigenous Taiwanese children with Vox and launched a small business…

Taiwanese Cha Cha Cha: Judie Yang on Language, Culture, & Family

Judie Yang is a polyglot: she can speak English, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Spanish. Although she doesn’t always introduce herself as a polyglot, language has always been a huge part of her identity and is a common theme that runs through all her films, including Taiwanese Cha Cha Cha, a narrative short-film now playing at the Austin Asian American Film Festival. Taiwanese Cha Cha Cha explores the connections between language, culture, and family in Taiwan as it follows a young woman…

Between the Notes: Jordan Hwang brings the Taipei Music Academy & Festival to Austin Asian American Film Festival

The film begins with the universal cues of an orchestral warm up: a retrieved violin bow, the tell-tale crisp sleeves and cuff links of performance attire, the scrambling annotations, the conductor’s swelling flourish. This could be anywhere, until we catch glimpses of something cheerfully familiar, locating us in the heart of Taiwan: the interior of a double-decker bus (equipped with karaoke screens), a cup of bubble tea.  Hwang’s recent documentary Between the Notes, now playing…

We interviewed “The Half of It” writer & director Alice Wu

  FEATURE PHOTO OF ALICE WU BY K.C. BAILEY When Netflix dropped its trailer for The Half of It almost a month ago, it rocked the internet. People quickly attached themselves to the film’s universally relatable main character Ellie Chu. Ellie is a shy and smart student who devotes her screen time to helping her best guy friend, Paul Munsky, win over Aster Flores, the hottest girl at their high school. Though The Half of It begins with a seemingly conventional premise, it quickly subverses…

Director Lynn Chen Debuts I Will Make You Mine at CAAMFest

For over a decade, TaiwaneseAmerican.org has been a dedicated supporter of the Center for Asian American Media’s annual film festival and community events. This year, CAAMFest presents a reimagined film festival experience online from May 13-22, 2020 during APA Heritage Month, and we are so excited to co-present the opening night film, I Will Make You Mine. Of note, Taiwanese American actor Lynn Chen (Saving Face, Nice Girls Crew, and numerous TV guest spots) makes her directorial debut with…

Two Perspectives on Late Life: The Chien-Ming Wang Story

https://www.instagram.com/p/B0AKwjfFE1u/ Editor's Note: I'm thrilled to present two perspectives on LATE LIFE: The Chien-Ming Wang Story - both from bay area-raised college students who chose to pursue college in the Midwest. Derek is a student at the University of Michigan, and Vivienne is a student at Washington University in St. Louis. DEREK SHAO In baseball, the term “late life” is used to describe sudden and unexpected movement as a pitch crosses home plate. It is a fitting metaphor…

The Thrill of the Chase: Get to Know Taiwanese Canadian Actor Chase Tang

Chase Tang’s press coverage has the makings of a fully-fledged biography. From the headlines alone, we get a glimpse of the many communities that take pride in this Taiwanese Canadian actor: his hometown of Bedford; his alma mater, the University of Guelph; Mandarin-speaking netizens clamoring over a new heartthrob to call their own. It’s not surprising (I mean, just look at him) that each wants a claim to Tang’s rising Hollywood fame. IMAGE CREDIT: JUSTIN WU FOR CHASE TANG Born in Taipei,…

Where to Watch LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN

LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN examines one of the longest-running summer programs in the world. This feature-length documentary revisits the program's participants and explores the history and popularity of this well-known trip, sponsored by the Republic of China (Taiwan) government, which takes place every summer in Taiwan.  Despite its high-minded aspirations that include classes in Mandarin-language study, martial arts, and brush painting, the program’s popularity stems from another source: its…