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Hsu Li-da, Yu Jhi-han, and 2 Rising Stars in Taiwanese Cinema to Attend Premiere on March 23 at APUC in Chicago

  • Date:2024-03-07

Six new films from Taiwan are set to light up the Asian Pop-Up Cinema (APUC) season 18 in Chicago. The Taipei Cultural Center in New York is pleased to welcome director Hsu Li-da, rising actress Kira Skelly, director Yu Jhi-han, and actor Joseph Huang to introduce “A Boy & A Girl” (2024) and “The Young Hoodlum” (2023) at the festival on March 23.

“A Boy & A Girl” (2024), a film selected for the Window on Asian Cinema section at the 2024 Busan International Film Festival, is a feature debut film by Hsu Li-da who has built a career through short films and television dramas. His television film “The Long Goodbye” (2017) won Best Director and Best Writer at the Golden Bell Awards in 2017. Hsu casts 15-years-old Kira Skelly as the female lead in the picture because he believes that only a teen could bring to life the character from his screenplay of a teen movie.

“The Young Hoodlum” (2023), which closed out the Kaohsiung Film Festival, is director Yu Jhi-han's first feature film. Yu is known for his short film “Nirvana” (2009), which was selected by the Taipei Film Festival and Golden Harvest Awards for Outstanding Short Films. The film conveys a story about a kidnapping incident that brings a profound and lasting change in the lives of a group of young individuals. Joseph Huang, the male lead in the picture who delivers a compelling performance, was nominated Best New Performer at Golden Horse Award in 2018.

“After School” (2023), the closing film of the Taipei Film Festival last year, is directed by actor-turned-director Blue Lan. The movie was nominated in several international film festivals, such as the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival. Based on a true story, the movie is set in a strict learning center in 1994 where three troublesome students navigate forbidden love and evolving friendships.

“U Motherbaker” (2023), a family comedy based on the wildly popular 2020 television series of the same name in Taiwan, aims for entertaining during the Lunar New Year break. Full of language puns and cultural references, the movie is a curious window into Taiwanese pop culture. The movie is directed by Danny Deng, who is also a senior actor. Deng has acted in notable Taiwanese films such as “Yi Yi: A One and A Two” (2000), “Dust in The Wind” (1986) and “A Brighter Summer Day” (1991).

“On the Train” (2023) is a documentary that captures from the birth to the last moment of constructing the railway crossing southern Taiwan. Director Hsiao Chu-chen builds an omni-directional oral archive on the Southern Railway by collecting the vivid voices of railway designers, laborers who dug tunnels and laid the tracks, conductors, and train attendants. Hsiao’s previous works The Red Leaf Legend (1999) and Grandma’s Hairpin (2000) won Best Documentary two consecutive times at the Golden Horse Awards.

“Chinhua’s Blossom Untold” (2023) is a documentary focused on Ying-Ying, the stage name of Chen Chin-hua. Chen used to be a Taiwanese pop-song singer in the 1930s when Taiwan was still under Japanese colonial rule. She became one of the most successful singers after her song “Spring Every Day” (1938). The documentary is directed by Wang Ming-Hsia, who studied Chinese literature and worked in film production for almost ten years before making her own films.

In addition to recent releases and features, APUC season 18 will present a special screening of “God Man Dog” (2007). Directed by Chen Sing-ing, the film won the Tagesspiegel Readers’ Jury Award at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival. The multi-story drama about everyday people was described as “the most successful at the interweaving storyline technique and a touching look into a unique, albeit brief, period in the lives of a group of normal people,” according to Andrew Skeates in his review in Far East Film when the film released in 2007.

The APUC Season 18 Taiwan cinema showcase is scheduled to run between March 23 to March 29, 2024 with “U Motherbaker” (2023), “On the Train” (2023), “Chinhua’s Blossom Untold,” (2023) and “God Man Dog” (2008) streamed online and “A Boy & A Girl” (2024), “The Young Hoodlum” (2023), and “After School” (2023) shown in cinemas. For more information, please visit:

Virtual Cinema

March 23-29, 2024 for U.S. viewers.

Chinhua's Blossom Unfolds|Director Wang Ming-Hsia|Documentary|2024|27 minutes

God Man Dog|Director Chen Sing-ing|Drama|2007|119 minutes

U Motherbaker|Director Danny Teng|Comedy|2023|113 minutes

On The Train|Director Hsiao Chu-chen|Documentary|2023|106 minutes

In-person Screening


1500 N. Clybourn Avenue Chicago, IL 60610

A Boy And A Girl|Director/Screenwriter Hsu Li-Da|Crime, Family|2023|140 minutes

Saturday, March 23, 2024|2:30 PM

The Young Hoodlum|Director/Screenwriter Yu Jhi-han|Drama, Crime|2023|79 minutes

Saturday, March 23, 2024|7:00 PM

After School|Director/Screenwriter Blue Lan|Drama|2023|124 minutes

Sunday, March 24, 2024|2:30 PM