Two Taiwanese films selected for Rotterdam film festival

The psychological horror
The psychological horror "Detention," the highest-grossing domestic movie in Taiwan this year, was selected for screening in the festival's Voices segment(Courtesy of Facebook: Detention)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Two Taiwanese movies, “Detention” and “Synapses,” have been selected for screening at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) next year, with the latter competing in the Big Screen category.

The psychological horror “Detention,” the highest-grossing domestic movie in Taiwan this year, was selected for screening in the festival’s Voices segment, which features films distinguished by mature quality and powerful, relevant content, according to the IFFR website.

The category is for new works by mostly established filmmakers with distinctive voices, presenting inspirational films, according to IFFR.

Adapted from a survival video game by the same title, “Detention” is the first feature film directed by John Hsu (徐漢強) and chronicles a sad period at Greenwood High School in the 1960s during Taiwan’s White Terror era.

Meanwhile, “Synapses,” by this year’s Golden Horse best director nominee Chang Tso-chi (張作驥), was selected for the Big Screen Competition, which features films that are deemed worthy of being screened in cinemas after the festival.

Meanwhile, "Synapses," by this year's Golden Horse best director nominee Chang Tso-chi (張作驥), was selected for the Big Screen Competition, which features films that are deemed worthy of being screened in cinemas after the festival.(Courtesy of Swallow Wings Film)
Meanwhile, “Synapses,” by this year’s Golden Horse best director nominee Chang Tso-chi (張作驥), was selected for the Big Screen Competition, which features films that are deemed worthy of being screened in cinemas after the festival.(Courtesy of Swallow Wings Film)

This year, the Big Screen competition features nine films that will be judged by a jury of five audience members, according to the IFFR.

As part of the Big Screen Award, the broadcasting organization VPRO offers a cash prize of 30,000 euros (about NT$1 million), half of which goes to the filmmaker and the other half towards the release of the film in the Netherlands.

“Synapses,” Chang’s ninth feature film, is based on his experience of taking care of his mother, who had Alzheimer’s disease. It tells the story of a family in turmoil and a woman struggling to care for her husband, who has dementia, and deal with a daughter just released from prison.

The International Film Festival Rotterdam will be held Jan. 22 to Feb. 2, 2020.