Celebrating the Vibrancy of Independent Documentaries from China and Hong Kong 2024 TIDF Presents “Salute! Chinese Independent Documentaries” Section with three world premieres

The Taiwan International Documentary Festival (TIDF) organized by the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute (TFAI) , scheduled for May 10th to 19th, 2024, reaffirms its role as a premier platform for showcasing the richness and diversity of Chinese independent documentaries. In its esteemed “Salute! Chinese Independent Documentaries” section, 9 films, including 3world premieres, take center stage. The selected works span various genres and artistic forms, responding to current events, societal issues, and personal narratives. Utilizing fieldwork footage, inventive rearrangements of existing footage, and innovative blends of reality and fiction, expanding the realm of Chinese independent documentary filmmaking.


Five works from Hong Kong: Post-change state of society and personal memories 

The TIDF selection showcases five films by directors from Hong Kong, including three short films screened together, capturing the post-change state of society, personal memories and experiences. The screening includes Lost a Part of (2022), Let’s Talk (2023), and the world premiere In Your Shoes (2024) by CHAN Tze Woon and  Florence LAM. CHAN, recipient of the Grand Prize of the 2022 TIDF Visionary Award for Blue Island, in this new work he and his partner LAM explore themes ranging from bodily experiences to past events.


In Your Shoes (2024), Let’s Talk (2023)


Lost a Part of (2022)


An Asian Ghost Story (2023) by WANG Bo, starting with a ghost story narrated from the perspective of a female worker in a 1960s Hong Kong wig factory. The film blends archival footage, interviews, and dramatic narrative tension, shedding light on the little-known "Communist Hair Ban Policy" enforced by Americans at the time. Obedience (2024) by WONG Siu-pong, filmed over five years, is an observational documentary on the lives of scavengers in Hong Kong's Hung Hom area. As impending urban development threatens their way of life, WONG questions what is truly considered waste in this city.


An Asian Ghost Story (2023), Obedience (2024)


Portraits of Resilience: Insights into China's Pandemic Realities and Beyond

With Self-Portrait: 47 KM 2020 (2023), TIDF audiences will once again have the opportunity to experience a film by ZHANG Mengqi. This installment marks the tenth in her “47 KM” series, which is part of WU Wenguang’s “Folk Memory Project” launched in 2010. ZHANG has been involved in this project since its inception, documenting stories from her village located 47 kilometers from Yindian Town in Suizhou, Hubei. In her latest work, ZHANG chronicles an entire year in the village, slowly following the rhythm of the countryside and painting an intimate portrait of the villagers during the 2020 pandemic outbreak.

Self-Portrait: 47 KM 2020 (2023)


Another film addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in China, but set in the metropolis of Shanghai, is The Memo (2023) by the BADLANDS Film Group, winner of the 2023 Golden Horse Award for Best Documentary Short Film. This film employs readily available short video materials found on smartphones, television, and the internet to collage and record the daily lives of people in Shanghai under lockdown in 2022, emphasizing the significance of “memorization” beyond grand historical narratives.

The Memo (2023)


Resurrection (2024) by HU Sanshou and Bitter Rice (2024) by emerging director JIANG Chunhua mark world premieres. HU, recipient of the 2022 Asian Vision Competition Grand Prize for his work The Burrows, intricately connects his new work with his previous film on the construction of a grave in his home village in Shaanxi province. Resurrection, on the other hand, delves into the destruction of graves due to the forced relocation of a cemetery. Through interviews with villagers about the deceased, HU crafts imaginary portraits of the departed, “resurrecting” the individuals whose graves were destroyed through their memories. 


Resurrection (2024), Bitter Rice (2024)


Bitter Rice explores the clandestine world of a Chinese juvenile reform school for troubled youths, exposing its stringent disciplinary measures and penalties. JIANG offers a compassionate portrayal of the troubled teens, occasionally engaging them in dialogue or handing them the camera to share their own stories. This approach illuminates the power dynamics between authoritarian teachers and vulnerable students, demonstrating the potential of documentary filmmaking in empowering subjects to share their voices.


After the pandemic hiatus, TIDF is delighted to welcome almost all the filmmakers of the “Salute!” section as guests to post-screening discussions. 7 of the films in the “Salute!” section are competing for the TIDF Visionary Award, which will be announced at the awards ceremony on May 16th, 2024.

The 14th Taiwan International Documentary Festival will unfold at venues including the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute, SPOT-Huashan, Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Q Square, and the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB). Festival Ticket Packages and Individual Tickets are on sale on OPENTIX. For more information, please stay tuned to TIDF official website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information.