The 13th Taiwan International Documentary Festival (TIDF) Award Winners Announced

The awards ceremony of 13th TIDF was held on May 12th, with a total of 43 shortlisted films from the Asian Vision, International, and Taiwan Competitions, as well as 18 selected works from the TIDF Visionary Award vying for 11 awards. The 13th iteration of TIDF received a total of 1,896 documentary submissions from 125 countries and regions around the world for the competitions, attesting to the strong international reputation TIDF has built!
LI Yong-de, Minister of Culture, made an appearance at the awards ceremony. Also present were Chairperson LAN Tsu-wei, Director WANG Chun-chi and Deputy Directors CHEN Te-ling and LIN Chia-hui of the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute, as well as TIDF Programme Director Wood LIN. Filmmakers whose works were showcased in the festival or in the running, as well as jury members of the competitions were also in attendance, while international filmmakers and jury members who were unable to attend in person had pre-recorded videos that were broadcast on-site.
LI Yong-de, Minister of Culture, said during the awards ceremony, “Documentaries have provided us with a myriad of precious memories and cultural assets. Under such tough conditions during the pandemic, organising a large-scale documentary festival is no easy task.” He also expressed his gratitude to the jury members and the festival team for their hard work and the audience for their participation.
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Minister of Culture LI Yong-de, TFAI Chairperson LAN Tsu-wei
Programme Director Wood LIN felt, “Every submission is a vote of confidence in TIDF. Although documentaries are difficult to make and to promote, in more trying times, there is a higher need for them. I hope everyone can find comfort and strength at TIDF.”
TIDF Programme Director Wood LIN

Grand Prize winner of Asian Vision Competition, The Burrows radiates the magic of documentaries 

With a unique fashion of storytelling, Chinese director HU Sanshou’s The Burrows connects a seemingly unassuming local life with a larger situation of the world. It therefore earned the Grand Prize of the Asian Vision Competition. The jury extolled the magic of documentaries this film exudes. HU Sanshou thanked TIDF and the jury for the recognition. He also felt grateful for the opportunity to reflect on changes in life through creative work.


Asian Vision Competition Grand Prize The Burrows, Director HU Sanshou
The Merit Prize went to Indian film A Night of Knowing Nothing by Payal KAPADIA. The jury commented, “The film begins with a hapless love story, and gradually evolves into a discourse on identity politics, student activism, civil resistance, and a contention of views on national history.” The Special Jury Prize was awarded to CHAN Tze Woon’s Blue Island. The jury applauded the film’s ability to recollect and reflect on Hong Kong’s history using a hybrid of forms. It also effectively touches upon complex debates on territory and politics.
Asian Vision Competition Merit Prize A Night of Knowing Nothing, Director Payal KAPADIA
This year’s Asian Vision category saw fierce competition. To recognise more outstanding work, the jury decided to give out a Jury Special Mention to HUANG Hsin-yao’s A Silent Gaze. The jury felt the film captures the unique temporality of the town, and proves how a political statement can be made by simply observing an ordinary small-town life. During his acceptance speech, HUANG Hsin-yao dedicated the film to his father and passionately vowed, “I will never stop making documentaries. The purity and directness of documentaries are what I hold most dear.”
Asian Vision Competition Jury Special Mention A Silent Gaze, Director HUANG Hsin-yao

Encapsulating a nation’s history through a family story, Weiyena - The Long March Home scoops Grand Prize of the International Competition

Through a roots-finding journey, Weiyena - The Long March Home encompasses a century of China’s rise and fall. The jury lauded its warmth as well as its critical force in posing questions regarding universal values. Directors Weina ZHAO and Judith BENEDIKT hoped to inspire others to tell their family stories through cameras, too. They would also like to stress, “Learning from history is the best way to usher in a better future.”


International Competition Grand Prize Weiyena - The Long March Home, Directors Weina ZHAO and Judith BENEDIKT
Danse Macabre from Thailand took home the Merit Prize. The jury complimented, “This film utilises multiple audiovisual materials to reconstruct the turbulent history of Thailand, while constantly changing its narrative approach to create a dark Thai version of The Thousand and One Nights.” The directors Thunska PANSITTIVORAKUL and Phassarawin KULSOMBOON expressed their appreciation for the jury and the team, and their hope for a better Thailand. They wished they would no longer have to make films of this kind.


International Competition Merit Prize Danse Macabre, Directors Phassarawin KULSOMBOON and Thunska PANSITTIVORAKUL
The Jury Special Mention was given to LEE Yong-chao’s Rain in 2020. The film impressed the jury by creating a nuanced family portrait, and through which, gives us a glimpse into Myanmar’s changes and conundrums. LEE Yong-chao said this award felt real and unreal at the same time, but pledged, “With or without accolades, I love cinema and I will continue to make films!”


International Competition Jury Special Mention Rain in 2020, Director LEE Yong-chao

Breaking away from traditional ideology, Taste of Wild Tomato wins Grand Prize of the Taiwan Competition

LAU Kek-huat’s Taste of Wild Tomato secured the Grand Prize of this year’s Taiwan Competition. The film won the jury’s praise by breaking away from a typical tragic tone and a common setup shaped by unification-independence ideologies. It begins with memories of World War II and the Chinese Civil War and re-examines Taiwan’s unique historical trajectory from the wretched colonial days to its democratisation. LAU Kek-huat said when receiving the award, “We must all try to remain hopeful for humanity. Every documentary is a part of this strength.” He promised to do his part.


Taiwan Competition Grand Prize Taste of Wild Tomato, Director LAU Kek-huat

The Merit Prize was granted to HSU Che-yu’s The Making of Crime Scenes for its conceptual ambition and its sensitivities towards unravelling a controversial reality. The Making of Crime Scenes offers a unique meditation on one of Taiwan’s most prominent murder cases during its Martial Law period, and successfully transcends the film into a critical reflection on the collective unconscious within Taiwanese society and politics.
Taiwan Competition Merit Prize The Making of Crime Scenes, Director HSU Che-yu
K’s Room – The Creation and Destruction of the World by HUNG Wei-lin received the Jury Special Mention. The jury noted, “Under the guise of an English lesson, the film calls attention to the mental imprisonment during Taiwan’s Martial Law period and demonstrates the rich potential of short documentaries.”


Taiwan Competition Jury Special Mention K’s Room – The Creation and Destruction of the World, Director HUNG Wei-lin

Blue Island, a meditation on Hong Kong’s destiny, scores Grand Prize of TIDF Visionary Award

The grand prize of this year’s TIDF Visionary Award went to CHAN Tze Woon’s Blue Island as it is able to meditate on the harsh realities in Hong Kong and offer valuable historical clues to unlocking its story. With a clear historical consciousness, the film treats witnesses with sincerity and respect. CHAN’s first feature documentary Yellowing was also selected by TIDF in 2016. Receiving an award this time, CHAN especially wished to mention the inspiration from his two-time participation in TIDF. He also hoped more people will see the film in the future.


TIDF Visionary Award Grand Prize Blue Island, Director CHAN Tze Woon
Chinese director LI Wei’s Silence in the Dust and Chinese director HU Sanshou’s The Burrows claimed the Special Jury Prize and Jury Special Mention respectively. The jury felt Silence in the Dust was “not an easy film to watch, but it is an important one as it asks tough questions about life, love, suffering, death, childhood, and about the role of documentaries and documentary filmmakers in the most tragic and private moment of a person’s life.” The Burrows is a daring film as well as a profound meditation on the finitude of life, providing a layered experience for the audience.


TIDF Visionary Award Special Jury Prize Silence in the Dust, Director LI Wei
Following its Merit Prize win in the Taiwan Competition, The Making of Crime Scenes by HSU Che-yu added the Taiwan Film Critics Society Prize to its list of honours. The film impressed with its creative and experimental approach in demonstrating how historical memory can be repeatedly reconstructed, and its ability to challenge the authenticity of reconstructed images.


TIDF Visionary Award Taiwan Film Critics Society Prize The Making of Crime Scenes, Producer CHEN Young-swan

Children of the Mist recognised by Next Generation Award jury, while Blue Island is chosen the audience’s favourite

This year’s Next Generation Award was organised by TIDF and Fubon Cultural & Educational Foundation, inviting 22 teenage jurors to grant the Next Generation Award to a film that best represents the perspective of the new generation. The jury selected Children of the Mist and observed, “The film centres on how the protagonist confronts the ‘bride-kidnapping’ tradition of her Hmong tribe. Through exquisite mise-en-scène and intimate scenes shot over a long period, we are offered a glimpse into a different culture and an opportunity to ponder on issues regarding women and tradition.” The Audience Award, reflecting the taste of this year’s audience, went to Blue Island. This was the third award Blue Island took home, following the Special Jury Prize of the Asian Vision Competition and the Grand Prize of the TIDF Visionary Award.


TIDF Next Generation Award Children of the Mist, Director HÀ LỆ Diễm

2022 TIDF Award-Winning List

Asian Vision Competition
Grand Prize:The Burrows
Merit Prize:A Night of Knowing Nothing
Special Jury Prize:Blue Island
Jury Special Mention:A Silent Gaze
International Competition
Grand Prize:Weiyena - The Long March Home
Merit Prize:Danse Macabre
Jury Special Mention:Rain in 2020
Taiwan Competition
Grand Prize:Taste of Wild Tomato
Merit Prize:The Making of Crime Scenes
Jury Special Mention:K’s Room – The Creation and Destruction of the World
TIDF Visionary Award
Grand Prize:Blue Island
Special Jury Prize :Silence in the Dust
Jury Special Mention:The Burrows
Taiwan Film Critics Society Prize:The Making of Crime Scenes
Next Generation Award
Children of the Mist
Audience Award
Blue Island