The 2023 Sundance Film Festival Asia officially opened at the SPOT Huashan Cinema in Taipei City on August 18, 2023, and announced the winner of the Sundance Film Festival Asia Short Film Competition. The award went to “Tuo Tuo” directed by An Chu. Many Hollywood and local celebrities walked the red carpet including Justin Lin (Director of the “Fast and Furious” franchise), Todd Makurath (Executive Producer of “Everything Everywhere All At Once”), Joachim Zell (Color Scientist from “Blade Runner 2049”), Dan Lin (Producer of “The Lego Movie”), Tzi Ma (Actor from “Rush Hour” series), Caitlin Fang (Actress from “American Girl”), Patty Lee (Actress from “My Missing Valentine”), Ke-Xi Wu (Actress from “Nina Wu”), Allison Lin (Actress from “Haru”), Teresa Daley (Actress from “Days We Stared at the Sun”), Sonia Yuan (Actress from “Summer Desire”), Angela Yuen (Actress from “The Narrow Road”), James Wen (Actor from “The Fierce Wife”), Janet Hsieh (Host from “Fun Taiwan”), and Hsieh Ying-Xuan (actress from “Heaven on the 4th Floor”).
In his opening remarks, Taipei City Mayor Wayne Chiang welcomed Sundance Film Festival Asia to Taipei in bringing the opportunity to open up a more international perspective for Taiwanese filmmakers, as thousands of domestic and foreign filmmakers are anticipated to participate in events over the three days. Mayor Chiang hopes that filmmakers from all over the world can come to Taipei to film as it not only connects Taipei with the world, but also makes Taiwan’s film industry full of vitality. He highlighted what an honor it was for Taipei City to host this prestigious event. Izero Lee, the CEO of Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA), mentioned that the Sundance Film Festival Asia not only brings wonderful films, but also invites Hollywood industry professionals to share insights at the panels. The events provide a great opportunity for industry professionals to network, which results in more potential for Taiwanese filmmakers to shine internationally.
The opening night was crowded with celebrities. Dan Lin, who has produced many blockbuster films such as “It” and “The Lego Movie”, said that he is now working on the production of the live action film “Lilo & Stitch”. Tzi Ma, award-winning actor who has appeared in the “Rush Hour” series and “The Farewell”, highlighted his interest in Taiwanese cuisine. In addition to the celebrities from Hollywood, Golden Horse winning actress Ying- Xuan Xie also said that seeing her good friend Yi-Wen Yan as a producer inspired her to try script writing and producing. The well-known actress Ke-Xi Wu appeared on the red carpet in a fancy dress saying how she has always wanted to participate in the Sundance Film
Festival, and was very happy to be invited to attend the opening ceremony. Allison Lin, who has heard about the Sundance Film Festival since studying in the United States, mentioned her interest in Sundance Film Festival ager watching “Napoleon Dynamite” and the award-winning
documentary “Super Size Me” when she was a student. James Wen also attended, told the media of his hopes that Taiwan could become a place for Chinese people to communicate, so that many filmmakers from the East and the West could come to Taiwan for exchanges. James also talked about the recent film “See You at the Rally”, which is an inspirational movie that utilizes car racing to talk about family and friendship, releasing on September 8th.
At the opening ceremony, the winner of the Sundance Film Festival Asia Jury Prize for Best Short Film was presented by Barco. On behalf of Barco, Academy Member and Color Scientist Joachim presented the award to “Tuo Tuo” directed by An Chu. “Tuo Tuo” is based on the director’s personal life when living with his father and grandmother at a deer farm. The director said that he was very happy to be shortlisted and to be the winner of the Sundance Film Festival Asia Short Film Competition. Sundance Film Festival Asia was held from August 18-20, 2023 and featured master panels and screenings at SPOT Huashan Cinema as well as Syntrend. For more information on the feature films, panels, and additional information, please visit the Official Website