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Documentary festival spotlights secret stories

Documentary films, in all their authenticity, unveil images and truths not yet known to the world. They offer an impartial and nonstereotypical glimpse into controversial subjects. With more than 100 documentary films from all over the globe and hundreds of enthusiasts and professionals joining the event over the years, the biennial Taiwan International Documentary Festival (TIDF, 台灣國際紀錄片雙年展) enters its eighth edition this year, becoming an important intercultural event recognized as one of the top documentary film festivals in Asia.

After two years of eager anticipation, this TIDF is ready to commence on Oct. 19. First established in 1998 by the then-Council for Cultural Affairs, TIDF encourages interaction and dialogue between local and international documentary filmmakers, as well as provides a platform for cultural exchanges among diverse groups of people, broadening audiences' perspectives about the world through representations of the wide range of subjects explored in the festival.

“Brave New Vision” is the theme of this edition, screening a wide selection of 160 films from 40 international and local directors. Amid its abundant and diverse selection of films, TIDF highlights local screenings of “Taichung's Untold Stories” (看不見的臺中), “Experimental Documentary in Taiwan” (紀錄之蝕:影像跨界的交會), “Taiwan Focus” (台灣映像) and many more. As for international documentaries, audiences can watch films such as the “Paradise Lost” trilogy, “The Sound of Old Rooms,” “Violated Letters” and more.

Kick Start Taichung

TIDF kick starts with “Taichung's Untold Stories,” a series of seven 15 to 20 minute shorts that look into the people, places and things that are often ignored in the big city. Directors color their installments with a stylistic portrayal of the beauty, diversity and truths hidden behind the glare and blare of Taichung.

Follow director Lin Jing-jie's (林靖傑) lens to “Zhongxin Market 2012” (忠信市場2012), where the hustle and bustle of the traditional market turns into a gathering venue for artists at night. Or see how director Chu Hsien-che (朱賢哲) tells a 74-year-old shoe shiner's story in “Taichung Railroad Station” (台中驛站).

Putting previously hidden lives and true stories into focus onscreen is sure to light off a string of astonishment and amazement from audience members.

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 Hard to get attached to 'Detachment' 
160 films from 40 countries boldly delve into lesser-known truths with 'brave new vision' (Courtesy of TIDF)

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