When thinking about Asian cinema, the mind immediately thinks of places like Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea.  However, there is one place, hidden in the South Pacific that is quietly becoming a secret destination for Asian cinephiles.  That place, is the hipster capital of Taiwan—Kaohsiung City.

The city of Kaohsiung may be small when compared to the likes of Busan, Tokyo or Hong Kong, but don’t be fooled!  This city is slowly becoming the site of one of the most diverse, top tier film festivals on the Asian continent.  The festival, which has been up and running in one form or another since 2001, and will run this year from October 20th – November 4th. The KFF features programming that is both unique and diverse, and unlike its competitor to the west (Hong Kong Sundance), the KFF has chosen to cast aside its cultural blinders and choose instead to serve up a palatable offering of cinema from all over the world. Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Spain, France, German, Estonia, Indonesia are just a small list of the countries with films represented in this year’s lineup.

Eiji Uchida

One of the more unique aspects of this festival are it’s Director in Focus showcases which feature a slew of films spanning the careers of such noted directors as Eiji Uchida (Japan), Walerian Borowczyk (Poland) and Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece).  For those not trying to get first place in the next film school trivia night,  the festival also includes special screenings of some classic gangster films such as the Godfather Part I, Godfather Part II, and a special screening of Resevoir Dogs.  Unfortunately, KFF does not have a Midnight Horror category, but fans of the strange and obscene can at least get their fix during the special screenings of films like Delicatessen, Greedy Guts, and Tampopo.


One of the films from this festival to watch out for is the Jean Luc-Godard biographical piece Redoubtable, which covers the French New Wave legend’s steamy love affair with one of his underage starlettes.  Also included in the lineup is the latest addition to Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip series (The Trip to Italy), as well as the debut of internationally renowned metal band Chthonic’s film Tshiong (?).

The KFF is set kick off this week with an opening night showing of The Tokyo Night Sky is Always the Densest Shade of Blue (Yûya Ishii), and will conclude two weeks later with closing night screenings of the aforementioned Tshiong and Redoubtable.  More information and news coming soon!