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2021 BerlinTaiwan Film Festival: The Curator’s Prologue

During the difficult and unpredictable COVID-19 situation in Berlin last year, our team made a bold decision to challenge ourselves and ran our film festival completely online. We encountered many obstacles, uncertainties, and setbacks. However, with the support from our collaborators and audiences, we made it work! We received so much amazing feedback from audiences outside of Berlin, which made each and every one of our team members absolutely thrilled. We are well into 2021 now, yet film festivals are still largely on hold. After assessing and discussing the current situation with our producers, business partners and collaborators, we decided to continue the online digital format of our festival in 2021. This was not an easy decision for our team, however, we will do our best to scale up the screening possibilities, so as to bring a unique and satisfying experience to as many viewers as possible. Our central theme for this year’s festival is Portraits of Taiwanese Diversity. We have selected a total of 15 Taiwanese films, among which 2 will be European premieres and 4 will be German premieres. Focusing on the stories of various individuals, we hope to provide new angles to perceive Taiwan. Our selection of documentaries and films cover a wide range of topics involving the multifaceted cultural world in Taiwan, as well as the ever-present sentiments connecting the people to the land. For instance, our closing film shows an intricate relation between the sea, the mountains and the people, and creates an image of ‘facing the sea with your back to the mountain’.

This image is hardly new. In fact, it has been considered a golden rule for positioning a house (Fengshui fans, show me your hands!). Being placed between the sea and the mountain, you will sense the self-exploration, reflection and exploration taken by Taiwanese throughout our history. Our four sub-themes: ‘humanists’, ‘artists’, ‘explorers’ and ‘migrants’, resonate with the central theme in different ways. Each will take you across borders of geography, culture and language, showing you the true diversity of Taiwan, and hopefully, some or all of them will trigger your interest to explore more and more. Regardless of where you are in Germany, we hope to take you on this authentic visual trip around Taiwan and explore this incredible island together. We are excited to see you all in August!


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