When Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) opened on June 29th, Taiwan made its presence felt with one film in the official competition, and a further 3 shorts, 3 VR works, 1 restored classic and 2 international co-productions in the official program. Meanwhile, Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) collaborates with BIFAN officially and announces a new cash award. TAICCA will be giving out a US$10,000 Award to a project with the most international co-production potential.
The 27th Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, known as the largest genre film festival in Asia, kicked off on June 29.
As part of the festival, actor-turned-director, Kai Ko, will attend BIFAN with his debut feature Bad Education, selected for Bucheon Choice. Freshly awarded at Cannes, and also competing at Bucheon Choice, Tiger Stripes is an eight country co-production that was supported by TAICCA’s TICP (Taiwan International Co-Funding Program), through Taiwanese production partner Flash Forward Entertainment. In My Mother’s Skin, a co-production between The Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan is another film supported by TICP that is in the official program. Its production partner in Taiwan is Volo Films.
Short films, The Remains, directed by Tsai Chia-Ying, Doris, by Yu Ning, and animation, One Way Ticket, by Li Jia-Rong, are all selected for the XL program. In Beyond Reality, the section dedicated to immersive XR content, three VR works from Taiwan are on show: Annecy’s Best VR Film, Red Tail; Venice Immersive Best Experience winner, The Man Who Couldn’t Leave; and All That Remains, from Riverbed Theatre. Meanwhile, the Strange Hommage section highlights Four Moods (1970), a restoration by the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute. This classic portmanteau film features former masters, Li Han-hsiang, Lee Hsing, King Hu and Pai Ching-jui, each directing one of the titular episodes. Finally, at NAFF’s It Project, two Taiwanese films nestle among 15 other Asian projects: the horror thriller, The Shadows, from Lingo Hsieh, and time travel fantasy, Out of Nowhere, by Julian Yuchiao Li.
Tiger Stripes director Amanda Neil Eu and lead actress Zairean Zairizal made a stunning appearance on the red carpet.
In My Mother’s Skin director Kenneth Dagatan and crew arrived at the opening ceremony.
Bad Education director Kai Ko led the three male leads joining the celebration of genre film.
(Photo courtesy of Harvest 9 Road Entertainment)
This year marks the first time that TAICCA becomes an official BIFAN partner, with the collaboration reaching out in several areas. TAICCA Chairperson Homme Tsai said that BIFAN has helped raise awareness internationally for Taiwan genre films. The official collaboration between TAICCA and BIFAN aims to push further exchange for genre films, and to encourage more Taiwan filmmakers and their work to go global through the TAICCA award, the residency program and the opening of paths to international co-production and co-financing.
The aforementioned TAICCA Award aims to encourage the development of genre projects. TAICCA will be attending the Made in Asia forum to introduce its initiatives and resources to international producers and creatives, to encourage partnership with Taiwan for co-production and co-financing. As announced earlier this year, TAICCA has also partnered with BIFAN on the BIFAN GOEDAM Residency for Asia Talents. As part of the partnership, both parties jointly selected a Taiwan filmmaker to attend the film festival and the residency program, and who will benefit from script mentorship and exchange with fellow participants during the residency prior to pitching in Korea. The first selected participant is writer-director Yen-Ju Lee. Lee’s previous short To Pluto saw success at the British Independent Film Award, and her feature project, Leftover Women Detective, was selected to 2021 Taipei Golden Horse Film Project Promotion. The residency program aims to cultivate more Taiwan genre creatives and foster international collaboration through continued exchange.
BIFAN’s ten-day festival encompasses screenings of international genre films alongside NAFF, the world's first project market dedicated to genre films. It has been in operation since 2008. As well as its project market and multiple programs, NAFF also offers the Fantastic Film School, Made in Asia, and forums dedicated to trends in Asian filmmaking. Also, its B.I.G, BIFAN Industry Gathering encourages the development of Asian genre films through industry exchange activities.