SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Taiwan Film Screenings (Understanding Taiwan Through Film and Documentaries)



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Dr Dafydd Fell and Dr Ming-yeh Rawnsley discuss the Taiwan Film Screenings at SOAS

Over the past 30 years Taiwan film has had an outstanding record of achievement at major film festivals, particularly those in Europe. To factor in this enormous triumph SOAS has offered a course on Taiwan film since 2005 – a course that has been tremendously popular with students.  The value of Taiwan’s films and documentaries goes beyond their artistic quality, for they also offer a key platform for understanding modern Taiwan. This has been the prime motivation behind this new project. Its goal: to facilitate regular screenings of Taiwanese films and documentaries. Each screening will feature a follow-up Q&A session with invited film makers, actors, or film scholars and critics.

The films will be chosen to integrate closely with existing Taiwan courses at SOAS and the regular Taiwan Studies Seminars. The films shown will reflect key themes, such as important trends in Taiwan’s history, social, economic and political change, cross-Strait and international relations, and cultural development. We already supplement our teaching with reference to clips from Taiwanese films and documentaries, but regular screenings of films and the opportunity to question and directly interact with film makers and specialists will greatly enhance students’ understanding of contemporary Taiwan.  We also intend that these screenings will be organised in close cooperation with the Taiwan Academy in London, which will be inaugurated in the near future. Overall, it is hoped that the screenings will help raise wider awareness and understanding about modern Taiwan and its vibrant creative industries.

The project will host nine film screenings during each academic year. These will include a mix of feature films, short films, and documentaries. There will be three film showings each in term 1 (September-December) and in term 2 (January to March); in term 3 we will devote an entire day to three screenings as part of our annual Taiwan Studies Summer School. The film screenings shall be open to the general public and advertised widely on our Taiwan Studies website and through our extensive emailing lists.

The Understanding Taiwan through Film and Documentary Screening Series is supported by the Ministry of Culture’s Spotlight Taiwan Programme. Special Thanks to Dr. Samuel Yin for his generous support to the Spotlight Taiwan Programme.

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