On Aug. 29, the Kaoshiung Film Festival 2019, together with the Public Television Service, has announced the new selection of short films for PTS Originals -Shorts. The roster includes a thriller about online stardom, “Pandora” (潘朵拉); “The Pains of a Screenwriter” (編劇頭很痛), a film satirizing the trials suffered in Taiwan’s film and TV industry; and a realistic depiction of the lives of migrant workers, in “The First Tuna” (第一鮪). The three short films fit well with the current times, with diverse material and truly distinct styles. The venue for the debut will be on Oct. 20 at MLD Cinema, with directors Marco Wu (吳兆鈞), Li Yuan-chiao (李原僑), Chen Po-tsung (陳柏宗), Sun Chieh-heng (孫介珩), and actors as star guests.
Pandora, starring Wen Chen-ling and Cammy Chiang, is a product of directors Marco Wu and Li Yuan-chiao ability for satire. Through non-linear storytelling and the blurring between reality and fiction, the film shows the struggle faced by a young teenager as she is swallowed up by her race to fame. The psychological thriller is seen as a real-life version of the animated film, “Perfect Blue” (藍色恐懼).
Li Yuan-chiao said that even though both lead actresses have similar temperaments, their differences really pull the film together. He also revealed there are many hidden “Easter eggs” in the film, and invited audiences to crack open Pandora’s secrets, perhaps even watching it twice to find them.
The Pains of a Screenwriter stars Taipei Film Festival award-winning actor, Ta Ho (大鶴), who really demonstrates his talent for delving into the screenplay, showing his ability to switch between a wide variety of emotions with ease. With celebrity, Ting Kuo-Lin (丁國琳), and hip-hop king, DJ Didilong (李英宏), and Cammy Chiang, the film will leave audiences crying from laughter.
Chen Po-Tsung remarked that DJ Didilong, who plays mama’s boy actor, is “a breath of fresh air.” Being so skilled at rapping, he acts out his lines with a particular rhythm, even Ta Ho and Cammy Chiang would often imitate him.
The First Tuna is a much-talked-about film recently. It tells a story on a tuna fisherman’s boat, with its stifling stench of fish and greasy surroundings, it’s an extremely tense job. Through a series of mishaps and mistakes, the story ends with a surprising conclusion. The cast is entirely composed of untrained actors, and after overcoming the smallness of the boat, the weather, and a troublesome sea, filming was completed in just five days.
Director Sun Chieh-heng stated, “Most of society has seen a glimpse of the difficulties faced out at sea, but they’ve only seen it through 30-second news reports. I hope that the stories shared in The First Tuna can help the audience understand everything that goes beyond in the background.”