The Tribeca Film Festival has recently announced that it will move a partial selection of movies and programs from its 19th edition online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A Taiwanese VR film HOME will be presented, along with other 14 VR films, in Tribeca Immersive: Cinema360 program via Oculus TV from April 17th to 25th, 2020. The public now can attend these high-profile premieres from their couch during quarantine.
HOME is Director Hsu Chih-Yen’s first VR film. By utilizing the language of VR, Hsu brings the audience back to his grandmother’s home to experience the lively atmosphere of the family reunion during a festive holiday, and the melancholy while the grandchildren part ways with their grandmother. Hsu said that after becoming a father, he has had deeper thoughts and feelings about birth, growth, aging and other changes in life for family members. Thanks to the opportunity to shoot the film, Hsu was able to reconnect with all the relatives. HOME is a heart-warming work, full of Director Hsu’s warm imagination.
Another Taiwanese VR film, GREAT HOAX: THE MOON LANDING, is also selected by the Tribeca Immersive: Virtual Arcade program. GREAT HOAX is Director John Hsu’s second VR work, as for his first one, YOUR SPIRITUAL TEMPLE SUCKS, was well-received by VR festivals across the world. In this comedy satire, the audience is going to be “the first Taiwanese astronaut landing on the moon” and to participate in a “fake landing program” initiated by the government. Hsu said he wants the audience to reflect on the widespread disinformation in modern society after they watch the film. GREAT HOAX: THE MOON LANDING was also selected by the 2019 Venice Gap-Financing Market and by 2020 Taiwan’s Golden Horse Fantastic Film Festival.
In recent years, Taiwan has enjoyed a worldwide reputation for its cutting-age virtual reality and its achievement in VR production. CHALKROOM, produced by Taiwanese artist Huang Hsin-Chien and American composer Laurie Anderson, was the first Taiwanese VR work exhibited at the 2018 Tribeca Immersive. In 2019, MR. BUDDHA, directed by Taiwanese Director Lee Chung and co-produced by celebrated Taiwan director Hou Hsiao-hsien through the “5X1” project, was screened as part of the TFF's lineup. This year marks the third consecutive year for Taiwan VR films to be featured in the event.
Photo Courtesy of Kaohsiung Film Archive