NIFFF 2021: SPOTLIGHT ON TAIWANESE IMAGINATION WITH FORMOSA FANTASTICA

The Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) is delighted to unveil FORMOSA FANTASTICA, a major highlight of its 20th edition (July 2–10), dedicated to Taiwanese imagination

The Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) is delighted to unveil FORMOSA FANTASTICA, a major highlight of its 20th edition (July 2–10), dedicated to Taiwanese imagination. This cross-disciplinary and ebullient cycle will include features and short films, immersive installations, as well as conferences – a diverse programme that reflects the heterogeneity of the Taiwanese production and its contemporary renewal. The audience will be able to discover a wealth of never seen before films through the work of a new generation of genre filmmakers, as well as large-scale local productions. In addition, a selection of immersive installations will be set up at the Neuchâtel Natural History Museum (MHNN), and a series of round tables will be live-streamed simultaneously from Neuchâtel and Taipei.

Supported by the Taiwan Cultural Center in Paris, FORMOSA FANTASTICA will give pride of place to Taiwan in a hybrid format: the films and the conferences will be available on the NIFFF’s digital platform, as well as locally in various locations of the festival. Audience members will be able to experience the immersive installations at the MHNN from July 2nd to July 10th.

THE HEARTBEAT OF ILHA FORMOSA’S PRODUCTIONS

Taiwanese genre filmmaking was reborn these last few years. With a programme of six feature films, the festival will offer the opportunity to discover contemporary works that put the island at the forefront of fantasy cinema today. The programme will include several directorial debuts to reflect the emergence of a young generation that gets off the beaten track and retools the codes of genre cinema to suit its needs. Among them are the eccentric zombie comedy GET THE HELL OUT (Wang I-fan, 2020), the queer dystopic Shakespeare reimagining AS WE LIKE IT (Chen Hung-i & Muni Wei, 2021), and the terrifying horror box office hit THE TAG-ALONG (Cheng Wei-hao, 2015). The first two episodes of the big budget TV show THE MAGICIAN ON THE SKYWALK, adapted from the Wu Ming-yi novel, will complete this multi-format programme. A series of short films geared toward children will also invite young cinephiles to discover the artistic and cultural wealth of a new Taiwanese generation. Finally, a roundtable involving filmmakers and experts will offer an overview of the Taiwanese film industry and its current stakes.

TAIWAN AT THE FOREFRONT OF DIGITAL CREATION

A selection of immersive installations will present the excellent work coming from Taiwan in terms of VR experiences and new technologies. This programme will be part of the set-up deployed at the MHNN and will echo the SAUVAGE exhibition. Connecting the audience with museum scenography, these installations will tackle audacious questions, like the transcendence and impact of man on his environment with SAMSARA EP. 1 (Huang Hsin-chien, winner of the 2021 South By Southwest Festival in the U.S.), or aboriginal cultures with A SONG WITHIN US (Fangas Nayaw), an interactive creation that lets festival-goers commune with nature through singing.

SCIENCE FICTION AND MAGIC REALISM IN TAIWANESE LITERATURE

Organized with the support of the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA), a forward thinking organization promoting Taiwanese digital creation and its content industry, a series of roundtables will take place in Neuchâtel and Taipei simultaneously. These hybrid format events will be part of NIFFF Extended and tackle various themes from a cross-disciplinary programme that focuses on innovation and diversity in the fantasy genre. The reasons behind the world-class standing of Taiwanese digital creation will be discussed during two roundtables. Festival-goers will also be able to immerse themselves in local literature thanks to the special participation of two major figures: Wu Ming-yi (THE MAN WITH THE COMPOUND EYES, THE MAGICIAN ON THE SKYWALK) and Chi Ta-wei (THE MEMBRANES, PERLES). The authors will talk about their works, which blend magic realism with science fiction, in light of rich and complementary themes such as global warming, eco-responsibility, cultural identity

You can find the complete Taiwan programme on the NIFFF’s website

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