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2017 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival

Spotlight on Taiwan


Sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Republic of China (Taiwan) and Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles.
Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 5.52.15 PMLogo_Taiwam Academy_TECO in LA_final

This year’s programming spotlight shines a light on the country of Taiwan, highlighting the best in Taiwanese cinema and the country’s rich culture and history that have shaped the island nation into one of the most dynamic countries in the Asia-Pacific Rim. 

This year’s spotlight features two award winning feature films: Midi Z’s THE ROAD TO MANDALAY (Venice Film Festival, World Premiere and Best Director at Goldenhorse Film Awards) and SMALL TALK (Berlinale, Teddy Award Winner). Both films represent the pedigree of this nation’s cinema, with the current generation of filmmakers taking the mantle from such cinematic giants like King Hu, Edward Yang, Ang Lee, Tsai Ming-liang, and Hou Hsiao-hsien.

Midi Z, like his predecessor Tsai Ming-liang, is an immigrant to Taiwan, hailing from Myanmar. His films are about the transmigration of people in the region, specifically in Southeast Asia along the Chinese-Myanmar border. In THE ROAD TO MANDALAY, he focuses on Burmese migrants who work illegally in Bangkok. The film world premiered at the 2016 Venice Film Festival and also garnered a Best Director win at the Goldenhorse Film Awards in Taipei.

SMALL TALK from Hui-Chen Huang, is another award winning film, having won the Teddy Award at the recent edition of the Berlinale. A personal story, the director sets off on a journey into the past with her mother, confronting her with questions that have tormented the director for many years about her mother and their family’s violent history of spousal abuse against her by her abusive father. By digging deeper, especially in regards to her mother’s sexuality, the film paints a picture of the changing lives and conditions for women in Taiwan.

In addition, our “Spotlight on Taiwan” is pleased to present five short films that demonstrate the breadth of diverse work from Taiwan’s emerging filmmakers. We celebrate these filmmakers with their latest shorts, in the following programs:


We celebrate Taiwanese filmmakers with their latest shorts, in the following programs:

A DOLL’S HUG (dir. Rob Chihwen Lo) preceding GHOST MAGNET ROACH MOTEL

COIN BOY (dir. Chuan-Yang Li) appearing in WTF: Watch These Films

DOTS (dir. Chen-Wen Lo) appearing in The Sum of My Memory

I’M FINE (dir. Lucretia Knapp) appearing in Pink House, Pink Home

WHITE TUNNEL (dir. Chien Lan-Chi, Chang Chin-Wei) appearing in Wildest Imagination


April 29, 2017

Pink House, Pink Home

In private living rooms, within community art spaces, on city streets, and across moviescapes, trans and queer folk dare to dream of home. — Erica R. Cho

Wildest Imagination

From a humble combination of line, movement, and sound, we find some of the most spectacular films. These animated works soar into the heavens; discovering new ways to tell universal stories. — Eseel Borlasa

April 30, 2017

The Sum of My Memory

What do you select to build your memories? Is it the color of your childhood home? Is it the scent of your favorite dish? Is it the bassline of a song? Explore the process of memory with these films, and learn how stories build with glimpses of the past. — Eseel Borlasa
1:45 pm


Two strangers, Lianqing and Guo, illegally cross the Burmese border into Thailand. While Guo starts working in a cotton factory and hopes to settle, Lianqing has different ambitions...
6:30 pm

May 2, 2017


They have lived like strangers under one roof for decades, almost never talking to each other. One day, Hui-chen finally summons up the courage to sit her mother down and talk.

May 3, 2017


The Punk Musical by artist Shinpei Takeda follows the off-stage life of 5 artists (2 American musicians, 2 Mexican artists and 1 Japanese filmmaker) of GHOST MAGNET ROACH MOTEL, a noise punkformance unit born in Tijuana, Mexico in their process of overcoming their psychological border. With a literally crashing border between Mexico and USA as the background, the protagonists confront each individual’s addictions while searching for an answer to their existential crises.
9:30 pm

WTF: Watch These Films

These films all differ in themes, but they are here because they make you want to say “WTF” after watching. Not because they are bad, but because you may be shocked, angry or too emotional after viewing. — Ariel Du