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The 25th Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival: Steaming two award-winning Taiwanese films in November

  • Date:2021-11-05

The 25th Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (TRAIF) will take place virtually from November 10 to November 19. Two Taiwanese films that received best picture awards, MY MISSING VALENTINE (消失的情人節, recipient of the 57th Golden Horse Award) and TAIPEI SUICIDE STORY (安眠旅舍, recipient of the 27th Slamdance Award), will be available online throughout the duration of the festival.

The festival will present 81 total films, including features and shorts from around the world. Along with Taiwanese films, films from Canada, the US, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Pakistan, India, and Norway will also be presented.

MY MISSING VALENTINE, directed by Chen Yu-Hsun (陳玉勳), is a fantasy romance set in a rural county. Post office teller Yang Hsiao-Chi (Patty Lee, 李霈瑜) has never been an ordinary girl: she is always one step ahead of everyone else. With Valentine's Day approaching, Hsiao-chi's feeling anxious about finding someone. When she lands a dream date, she goes to bed looking forward to Valentine's Day, but to her surprise and disappointment, she wakes up on February 15. Luckily, A-tai (Liu Kuan-ting, 劉冠廷 ), the bus driver who is always one step slower than everyone else, holds the answer to her problems.

TAIPEI SUICIDE STORY, directed by KEEF (王凱民), is set in a society different than our own, at a hotel in Taipei that welcomes suicidal people and assists them in committing the act by providing several methods which they can choose from. Over the course of one night, a receptionist (Tender Huang, 黃騰浩) begins to defy the rules and develops an unusual friendship with a hotel guest (Vivian Sung, 宋芸樺) who can't make up her mind on whether she wants to live or die.

This year’s title for the festival’s Ideas Conference is “Here in The Future Past,” as the festival wishes to use the energy of the community to reminisce while maintaining an eye towards the future. Gathering industry professionals, filmmakers, performers, media artists, programmers, and curators, this conference reflects on racialized filmmaking, the function of art in a time of crisis, working in other mediums, and children's programming.

TRAIF is one of the most important Asian film festivals in Canada, and the Taipei Culture Center in New York is pleased to partner with TRAIF to present Taiwanese cinema. Since 2005, 2-3 Taiwanese films have been presented at TRAIF every year.
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Photos courtesy of the 25th Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (TRAIF)