Grand Opening of the 14th Taiwan International Documentary Festival Opening Films Homage to Chen Da & The Boat-Burning Festival in Memory of Chang Chao-tang

The 14th Taiwan International Documentary Festival (TIDF) organized by the Taiwan Film & Audiovisual Institute (TFAI) grandly opens on May 10 with a vibrant opening ceremony! The opening films Homage to Chen Da and The Boat-Burning Festival are iconic avant-garde works by Chang Chao-tang, the recipient of the 2024 TIDF Outstanding Contribution Award. For a joint celebration at the opening ceremony at the TFAI this evening, TFAI Chairperson Arthur Chu and TFAI Director Louis C. Lee, along with competition jury members and nominated filmmakers from around the world, kick off the festival and also pay tribute to artist Chang Chao-tang, an iconic filmmaker / photographer, who sadly passed away in April this year.


2024 TIDF Opening Ceremony,(from the left)TFAI Deputy Director of Operations Chen Te-ling, Director Louis C. Lee, Chairperson Arthur Chu, TIDF Programme Director Wood Lin


TFAI Chairperson Chu says he is honored to welcome, for the first time in the five years following the pandemic, filmmakers from around the globe. He especially thanks the predecessors who founded the TIDF in 1998 for the excellent basis they built, which led to the following 26 years of steady continuation, introducing great films from around the world to audiences. He also talks about highlights of this year’s programmes, including wonderful works from Myanmar, Ukraine as well as original curation of precious films from TFAI’s collection, and hopes everyone enjoys the following ten-day festival.



TIDF Programme Director Wood Lin recalls his first experience as an audience with the TIDF back in 2004. The eye-opening programmes led to his reflection on the broad ranges of documentary, and he also gradually understood Chang Chao-tang’s oeuvres. The choice of two of Chang’s works as the opening films at TFAI this evening represents a profound tribute in remembrance of this precursor who was also one of the founders of TIDF.



Chang Shih-lun, Chang Chao-tang’s son, presents himself and salutes the whole audience on behalf of his father, with the latter’s insight: the work carries its own life, and fate will accompany those who have watched it all the way. He also says, with deep emotion, he especially brings father’s hat and festival badge to the stage this evening, and father would be very glad to see his works on the big screen, hoping the audience appreciate and interpret these films through new angles.

2024 TIDF Opening Ceremony, Chang Chao-tang's son Chang Shih-lun


As an object of pilgrimage in homage to the pioneering figure Chang Chao-tang, the three screenings of Homage to Chen Da and The Boat-Burning Festival are already sold out. Both iconic works express a groundbreaking aesthetic of documentary. Homage to Chen Da is a natural depiction of the generosity and calmness in the minstrel and yueqin player’s life, comprising his improvised singing and recitation and with chords and image as the lead, along with collages of portrait photos. Reputed as the commencement of experimental and poetic documentary in Taiwan, The Boat-Burning Festival captures spectacular scenes of the ritual of Burning the Wang Ye Boat in Sucuo Village, Tainan County. Stripped of any sound recorded live, the film is accompanied by Western avant-garde rock ballads, emanating sacredness and mystery of ritual.


2024 TIDF Opening Ceremony, TIDF Programmer Chen Wanling(Left)

With 12 sections (competitions/non-competitions), this year’s TIDF offers a feast of films to the audience throughout ten days. Particularly, in addition to featured films in regular sections: “Asian Vision Competition,” “International Competition,” and “Taiwan Competition,” the substantial selection in “Focus Programme | Metaphor of the Times: The Reality Named Myanmar” invites the audience to grasp realities in Myanmar from different angles through 26 films of diverse genres from the country. Moreover, “Filmmakers in Focus | Double Angles from Slovakia: Peter KEREKES & Viera ČÁKANYOVÁ” focuses on two major Slovak directors’ ingenious ideas in transforming history and reality. “Exchange | Decade in Blue and Yellow: Ukrainian Documentaries” marks TIDF’s first programme exchange with a foreign film festival and features six works selected from the Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival (IHRDFF), as a multifaceted representation of struggles of and challenges for the Ukrainian people. “Salute! Chinese Independent Documentaries” presents a selection of emerging independent mandarin documentaries from China and Hong Kong as responses to the times and for protecting memories.


Contemporary Scenes” assembles powerful films from film festivals worldwide, penetrating images about realities of our world. “Appropriate Appropriation: Archive and More” revolves around artistic genius in transforming pre-existing audiovisual material, emanating unlimited possibilities for storytelling. “Reel Taiwan: Floating Islands” offers a complete re-presentation of the experimental documentary project of an unprecedented scale in Taiwan’s history, as a retrospection toward the pioneering filmmakers’ progressive spirit and a reflection over the facets of Taiwan as floating islands. “Taiwan Spectrum | Untitled Reel: Amateur, Small-gauge Films and Others delves into small-gauge “amateur films” made in Taiwan from the 1920s to the 1970s; it traces the history of Taiwanese people through diverse forms, including lectures, live cinema, and a physical exhibition, etc. “Special Presentation” features jury member’s work and iconic works by late filmmakers as a commemoration.


The 14th TIDF (May 10-19) will be grandly held at the TFAI, SPOT-Huashan, Vie Show Cinemas Taipei Qsquare, and the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab (C-LAB). In addition to nearly 140 wonderful documentaries and more than 180 post-screening talks, the festival further features two Talks with Filmmakers in Focus, a Doc Talk on documentary in Myanmar, an Extended Q & A session on documentaries from Ukraine, five art performances based on archival footages, six sessions (lectures, performances, or live cinema) on small-gauge amateur films, and a physical exhibition. The side events include Myanmar, the Last Stand showing original comic artworks (co-organized with Slowork Publishing), Book Exhibition at Independent Bookstores (in collaboration with the Fribooker cooperative), and Taiwan Film & Audiovisual Institute Book Sale at the Path of Movie in SPOT-Huashan (organized by TFAI). Tickets for several TIDF screenings are already sold out; high-demand ticket packages and individual tickets are available on OPENTIX. The 2024 TIDF brochure provides complete programme and event information. For more latest news, please check TIDF’s official websiteFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.