Taiwanese film holds a unique position within Chinese- language cinema: having managed to eschew both the mainstream success of Hong Kong and the censorship of the mainland, the island nation has developed a distinctive, proud tradition. Though it has produced less well-known films than South Korea, it does boast Ang Lee, and his 2000 film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon introduced a whole new generation of filmgoers to the Chinese martial literary form of wuxia, as well as showing some of the niftiest fighting skills ever committed to celluloid.
The Taiwan Cinefest, which runs this month, brings some of the exciting new talent in Taiwanese cinema to London. The festival will showcase six feature-length films for the first time in the UK; perhaps of most interest is the opening night screening of Parking (Ting Che), by Mong-Hong Chung, which played at Cannes and the Montreal World Film Festival to great acclaim. The film screens at 8.30pm on April 15th, at the Coronet in Notting Hill.
We'll also get to see Cape No. 7, which has the (perhaps dubious) honour of being the highest-grossing film in Taiwanese history, as well as garnering a number of local awards and proving popular across the rest of Asia, a market Taiwan has often struggled to reach. See what the fuss is about at 3.30pm on April 16th, also at the Coronet.
Sounds good? This is even better: the organisers have kindly offered a pair of tickets to the open-night screening and after party. All you need to do is email Steven at firstname.lastname@example.org to enter the ballot.
Read the festival's full programme for more details.