Founded in 1998, Taiwan International Documentary Festival (TIDF) is organised by the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute in Taipei. In addition to the main festival, TIDF tours its selection of films in Taiwan in alternate years.
As one of the co-founders of the festival, LI Ji, once remarked,‘The motivation behind initiating a biennial documentary festival is quite simple–to establish a modest, humanitarian, and even more critical film festival outside of official film festivals. These values are all embodied in documentary films.’
A jury member at the festival's award ceremony once described TIDF as "a festival with a soul." As one of Asia's most prominent, extensive, and longest-standing international documentary film festivals, TIDF follows its curatorial core ‘Re-encounter Reality.’ It emphasises freedom, creativity and transboundary in its programme, encouraging reflection and experimentation in the aesthetics of documentary filmmaking. TIDF also focuses on the continuous exploration and redefinition of documentary films, as well as the development of documentary filmmaking in Asia and the Chinese-speaking region.
The festival includes competitive programmes that accept submissions from around the world and invites professionals from home and abroad to serve as jurors. TIDF's non-competitive programmes are curated by the festival's team and have included important themes such as a retrospective of Ogawa Shinsuke's works, Taiwanese avant-garde cinema from the 1960s, and documentaries about and made by Taiwan's indigenous peoples. Each edition of TIDF screens approximately 130 films from around the world, along with various events like master classes, panel discussions, live performances, and exhibitions.
In addition to organising a festival, the team also focuses on nurturing local talent by hosting workshops such as DOC DOC and DOC+ documentary workshops. These workshops aim to provide a platform for documentary filmmakers to engage in deep exchanges and to foster the connection within the community. Furthermore, through the overseas promotion platform Taiwan Docs, the festival promotes Taiwanese documentaries to worldwide audiences and seeks opportunities for international screenings and exposure.