Monday, April 29, 2013

Lee Teng-hui in new film about Taiwan democracy

US filmmakers probe murky waters of Taiwan democracy through interviews with Japanese PM, US congressional hearing, and Taiwanese politicians

The new documentary GODSPEED TAIWAN pursues the complicated -- and often controversial -- issue of Taiwanese politics through interviews with top politicians in Taiwan, the US and Japan. Los Angeles-based production company Gatling Pictures has created the first international documentary in more than a decade to look Taiwan’s history of martial law and its uncertain political future. Interviewees include former Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, US congressional representatives, media mogul Jimmy Lai, filmmaker Wu Nien-jen and top politicians from Taiwan’s two opposed political camps. The film will have its international premiere at the Urban Nomad Film Fest in Taipei on Friday at 3pm.

Taiwan remains divided between those who strive to establish closer ties to China and those fighting to maintain the political status quo and more, the United States continues to toe a precarious diplomatic line with regard to Cross-Strait relations. By "opposing" Taiwanese independence, but also promising to adhere to its pledge to militarily defend Taiwan in the event of an act of Chinese aggression, the U.S. policy of intentional ambiguity has created great confusion about its role and responsibilities in the Asia Pacific.

The film is helmed by director/producers Jeff Broadway, an American, and Kai Boydell, a Canadian. The main producer is Taiwanese Sam Lang. Together, they aim to represent the myriad of opinions about Taiwan and the realpolitik that will determine the island-nation’s future. "Our goal in producing this film is to strike a balance between politics, culture and history and offer a fresh, contemporary perspective that an international audience can understand."

Through exclusive interviews with Lee, Abe, former Taiwanese presidential candidate Peng Ming-min, DPP legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (DPP), Justin Chou (KMT), US congressman Lester Wolff (D) and other top policymakers, as well as rare footage of congressional hearings on Taiwan, they hope to catalyze an international conversation about Taiwan’s fate and the balance of power in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole.

“Godspeed Taiwan” will be shown as a "work in progress" at SPOT Huashan as part of the Urban Nomad Film Festival of Taipei at 15:00 on May 3rd and May 5th. The filmmakers are actively seeking finishing funds for post-production -- hence its "work in progress" status. Following the Sunday, May 5 screening, there will be a discussion panel featuring the film’s producers and journalists Michael Cole (Taipei Times), Martin Williams (president of the Taiwan Foreign Correspondents Club) and Taiwanese journalist TC Chang. Everyone -- politicians included -- are welcome to participate in the discussion.

WHAT: Theatrical screenings of GODSPEED TAIWAN
WHEN: May 3rd, 3pm
              May 5, 3pm with panel discussion
WHERE: SPOT Huashan (No. 1, Section 1, Bādé Rd, Taipei, Taiwan)

To purchase tickets, visit:

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Advance Tickets Now On Sale

Tickets are now on sale for all feature film programs. You can purchase advance tickets here.

This year Urban Nomad will present 17 international documentaries, our short film awards program, 11 short film programs and panel discussions on crowdfunding, animation and radical approaches to doducmentary. Highlights will include visits to Taiwan by Danish film director Mads Brugger and French filmmaker Jerome de Missolz, who will present their films on the festivals opening two days (April 26 and 27), and then appear together in a panel discussion on Sunday, April 28.

Brugger is a maverick documentary filmmaker who uses Borat like approach to filmmaking, though his goals as an investigative journalist are certainly more noble if no less entertaining. In THE RED CHAPEL, winner of the 2010 Sundance Jury Prize for International Documentary, he brings a Danish theater troupe to North Korea to put on an absurd performance in an even more absurd country. In his latest, highly celebrated documentary, THE AMBASSADOR, he heads to the Central African Republic posing as a diplomat and trying to buy conflict diamonds.

Jerome de Missolz is a veteran documentary filmmaker of French TV, specializing in experimental documentary and histories of rock n roll. This year for Urban Nomad, he brings both strains together in KIDS OF TODAY, an encounter between young, hard partying staff of a Paris music magazine and the veteran French rock critic Yves Adrien.

You can buy advance tickets for $200/each or 4 tickets for NT$720 ($180 each) through:

To buy tickets, you will need to register an account with Once you have an account, you can place your order online, then pay at 7 Eleven through the ibon machine, where they will print your ticket. There is a $30 service charge for each purchase of 1 to 4 tickets, i.e. 4 ticket packs are $750, 3 tickets $630, 2 tickets $430, etc. For more info, see the purchasing instructions (in Chinese only).

Seating is first come first serve. All films have Chinese+English. For news about sold-out screenings please check the left column of this site. If a screening is not sold out, there will be tickets available at the door.

Monday, April 1, 2013

2013 Short Film Selections

Short film lovers, directors, fellow nomads, the list is out!

Here is the list of short films that will be screened in the 2013 Urban Nomad Short Film Program. We will send out more info about the screening schedule and all the films very soon, but for now, here is the list of OFFICIAL SELECTIONS and AWARD NOMINEES.