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Taiwan's First English-Language Media Platform Goes Live
Taiwan Plus (Taiwan+), the first English-language international streaming platform of Taiwan, was unveiled by Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德), Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃), Central News Agency Chairman Liu Ka-shiang (劉克襄), Taiwan+ Chief Executive Officer Joanne Tsai (蔡秋安), and H.E. Ambassador Jasmine E. Huggins of Embassy of Saint Christopher and Nevis at the plaza in front of the National Taiwan Museum in Taipei on Aug. 30.

Golden Melody-award winning singer Sanpuy Katatepan Mavaliyw (桑布伊) opened the launch event with a music performance. Held with COVID-19 prevention measures in place, the event was joined by several representatives including Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Chief-Representative Hiroyasu Izumi, Canadian Trade Office in Taipei Executive Director Jordan Reeves, the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan (AmCham Taiwan) President Andrew Wylegala and Senior Advisor to AmCham Taiwan Don Shapiro, and the European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT) Chairman H. Henry Chang and the ECCT Vice Chairman Giuseppe Izzo.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed her pleasure to join the launch of Taiwan+ with a video message, saying "Taiwan+ is an exciting new initiative to tell Taiwan's story. Generations of Taiwanese fought to transform this country into a vibrant democracy that protects freedom of speech and expression."

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) in a video congratulatory message wished the platform success. He stressed that Taiwan is a democratic and free country guided by the rule of law, and cares about universal values of human rights, freedom of speech and diversity, noting that this is why many countries are willing to make friends and do business with Taiwan.

Vice President Lai said he had actively promoted English as the city's second language during his term as Tainan mayor and hoped Taiwan will turn into a bilingual nation by the year 2030.

Taiwan+, a project commissioned by the Ministry of Culture to the Central News Agency, marks an important milestone in the country’s history of mass media, as it is an independent media organization that serves to voice Taiwan to the world, Minister Lee Yung-te said.

Joanne Tsai, a senior media professional with more than 25 years of experience in international media outlets, hopes to make this platform a form of expansion, connection, and infinite possibilities, just like how Taiwan incorporates ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity within a nation, and introduce Taiwan to the world through dynamic storytelling and news.

Targeting English-speaking audience, Taiwan+ offers the latest news about Taiwan and international affairs, as well as special reports covering a wide range of topics spanning culture, tech, nature, and lifestyle. In addition to its own programs, the platform also sources from Taiwan’s public and private media organizations to tell the vibrant stories of Taiwan.

The content of Taiwan+ can be played on the Taiwan Plus app or viewed on its official website and social media platforms, such as FacebookYouTubeTwitter, and Instagram.

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Chicago’s APUC Season 13 to Present Four Restored Wuxia Classics from Director King Hu

Chicago’s Asian Pop-Up Cinema Season 13 will kick off on September 15 and run through October 12. From September 22 to September 28, Taipei Cultural Center in New York is pleased to collaborate with APUC to present masterful cinema by Director Kung Hu(胡金銓) with four restored wuxia classics: DRAGON INN(龍門客棧), A TOUCH OF ZEN(俠女), LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN(山中傳奇) and RAINING IN THE MOUNTAIN(空山靈雨). All four films are available to stream online across the United States, with DRAGON INN also playing on the big screen at a drive-in theater on September 28.  

Praised as an “extravagantly talented visual stylist,” cinematic titan King Hu revolutionized the wuxia/swordplay film, introducing a refined sense of aesthetics, attention to mise-en-scène, and sense of mysticism to the genre that was borne out of his lifelong love for Peking opera. With its unique blend of thrilling action and dazzling stylistic expressiveness, Hu’s style influenced decades of subsequent Asian cinema, including Tsui Hark’s NEW DRAGON GATE INN and Ang Lee’s CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON.

Janus Films, which holds the U.S. rights to DRAGON INN and A TOUCH OF ZEN, notes that “He [Hu] imbued his action with a compositional depth and maturity; focused intently on the physicality of his performers, rather than relying on special effects; used the camera as a balletic partner to the actors; sculpted his fight scenes keenly through editing rather than letting them play out in single takes; cast women in stronger, more central roles than the studio had before; and conveyed a palpable sense of Buddhist precepts.”

DRAGON INN was a blockbuster, setting box-office records in Taiwan, Korea, and the Philippines in 1967, and the film proved to have a broad and lasting impact. Hu’s next directorial effort could not hit screens until 1971, after three years of filming. A TOUCH OF ZEN took the Technical Grand Prize award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1975, propelling Hu onto the world stage, and its bamboo forest duel became a classic scene and an indelible contribution to cinema.

LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN and RAINING IN THE MOUNTAIN underwent the development, pre-production, photography, post-production and even distribution process simultaneously. LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN was described as one of King Hu’s most visually ravishing works, and it swept six major awards, including Best Director, at the 16th edition of Golden Horse Awards, while RAINING IN THE MOUNTAIN became a virtuoso showcase for Hu’s typically luxurious mise-en-scène and elegant action choreography.

After more than 30 years, Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute (previously known as Taiwan Film Archive and Taiwan Film Institute) commenced restoration of King Hu’s classic titles. In 2014 and 2015, the scrupulous digital restorations of DRAGON INN and A TOUCH OF ZEN were selected for Cannes Classics. In 2016, LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN was restored and subsequently selected for Venice Classics. In 2018, RAINING IN THE MOUNTAIN was selected for the first edition of Classici fuori Mostra, organized by the Venice Biennale.

Asian Pop-Up Cinema Season 13 is bringing 30 films from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, and China to Chicagoland and beyond. Sophia Wong Boccio, festival director of Asian Pop-Up Cinema, stated that “Keeping up with our eclectic programming, I truly believe that we have another season with a diverse mix of films for people to choose and enjoy. Also, the festival is going hybrid for good. Showing films physically in a cinema or at a drive-in for people to meet and watch films on the big screen will always be the heart of the festival!”

Wednesday, September 22 - Tuesday, September 28
Martial Arts Restored Classics
This program is supported by Taipei Cultural Center in New York and co-presented by Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute.

DRAGON INN (King Hu, 1967)
**An encore screening will take place at ChiTown Drive-in (2343 S. Throop) at sunset (8:00 - 8:30PM) on September 28.

A TOUCH OF ZEN (King Hu, 1971)



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A New Book Coming in September--FARAWAY, by Taiwanese Writer Lo Yi-Chin and Translated by Jeremy Tiang
The Taipei Cultural Center is pleased to announce the launch of a new book, FARAWAY, as one of the books in the series, Modern Chinese Literature from Taiwan, published by the Columbia University Press in New York.

“Thematically rich and intriguing.” — Kirkus Reviews,*Starred Review*

“Lo Yi-Chin is the most remarkable and creative writer Taiwan has produced in recent decades, and what's more, he is the most inventive writer in the entire Chinese-speaking world. — David Der-wei Wang, author of Why Fiction Matters in Contemporary China

*About the Book
In Taiwanese writer Lo Yi-Chin’s (駱以軍) Faraway, a fictionalized version of the author finds himself stranded in mainland China attempting to bring his comatose father home. Lo’s father had fled decades ago, abandoning his first family to start a new life in Taiwan. After travel between the two countries becomes politically possible, he returns to visit the son he left behind, only to suffer a stroke. The middle-aged protagonist ventures to China, where he embarks on a protracted struggle with the byzantine hospital regulations while dealing with relatives he barely knows. Meanwhile, back in Taiwan, his wife is about to give birth to their second child. Isolated in a foreign country, Lo mulls over his life, dwelling on his difficult relationship with his father and how becoming a father himself has changed him.

Faraway is a powerful meditation on the nature of family and the many ways blood can both unite and divide us. Lo’s depiction of family dynamics and fraught politics contains a keen sense of irony and sensitivity to everyday absurdity. He offers a deft portrayal of the rift between China and Taiwan through an intimate view of a father-son relationship that bridges this divide. One of the most celebrated writers in Taiwan, Lo has been greatly influential throughout the Chinese-speaking world, but his work has not previously been translated into English. Jeremy Tiang’s translation captures Lo’s distinctive voice, mordant wit, and nuanced portrayal of Taiwanese culture.

*About the Author
Lo Yi-Chin is an acclaimed Taiwanese writer, the recipient of numerous honors including the Hong Lou Meng Award and Taiwan Literary Award. His novels include Kuang Chaoren, Daughter, Western Xia Hotel, Surname of the Moon, and The Third Dancer.

*About the Translator
Jeremy Tiang has translated works by writers including Yeng Pway Ngon, Su Wei-Chen, Yan Ge, Zhang Yueran, Chan Ho-Kei, and Li Er. He is the author of the short story collection It Never Rains on National Day (2015) and the novel State of Emergency (2017).

The official link to the book:

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Taiwanese Basketball Movie WE ARE CHAMPIONS to Play at Chicago International Film Festival Summer Screenings Program

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago, alongside Taipei Cultural Center in New York, is pleased to partner with Chicago International Film Festival to present the Taiwanese basketball movie WE ARE CHAMPIONS (下半場) at the festival’s summer screenings program. The virtual screening for this inspirational, viscerally touching movie will take place on September 15th at 6:30pm CT, followed by a livestream Q&A with Director Chang Jung-chi (張榮吉).

WE ARE CHAMPIONS portrays two teenage brothers who have nothing but each other, hoping to change their fate through their love of basketball. The two brothers play for different teams; however, they cross paths on their way to ultimate basketball glory—the HBL championship. In order to replicate the feel of real basketball games, Director Chang Jung-chi recruited amateur actors who are proficient in the sport, and he went all out to perfect action choreography, camera movements, and synchronized sound. It took him seven years to complete the film.

WE ARE CHAMPIONS was nominated for six Golden Horse Awards in 2019, including Best Supporting Actor, Best New Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Effects, Best Action Choreography and Best Visual Effects, with Fandy Fan (范少勳) winning Best New Actor.

Due to the Tokyo Olympic Games, which recently concluded on August 8th, 2021, this year’s Summer Screenings Program has been celebrating sports and games from around the world from May 26 through September 29. As Cinema/Chicago, the organizer of Chicago International Film Festival, noted: “Through struggle and perseverance, victory and defeat, we learn about the joys, pains, and triumphs of being alive together…this collection of films explores the ways in which sports, games, and competition shape our lives.”

All of the selected films are free and open to the public, with limited tickets available for reservation beginning 16 days prior to each screening. For more information, please visit Chicago International Film Festival’s website:

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