Wednesday, May 7, 2014

2014 Urban Nomad Opens May 9 with 22 feature film premiers, 50+ short films, parties and of course... beer!

We are this psyched! DJ Peanut Butter Wolf in the hip hop doc Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton.
Opening on Friday, May 9, the Urban Nomad Film Fest continues to grow as Taiwan’s largest independent film festival, featuring 30 film programs, more than two dozen Taiwan film premiers, four international director visits, more than 60 local filmmakers as well as panel discussions, parties and related events. International feature documentaries explore art, music, extreme sports, queer culture and other topics. Local filmmakers are featured in seven programs of short films and animation as well as Taiwan’s first music video showcase at a film festival. Urban Nomad will take place at the LUX Cinema, a theater in the heart of Taipei’s movie street from May 9 to 18.

This year, Urban Nomad’s opening film is 99% The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film (2013), a look at the US grass-roots protest movement against corporate greed. Directors Audrey Ewell and Aaron Aites will be in attendance, and they will also present an earlier film on Norway’s extreme heavy metal scene, Until the Light Takes Us (2008), to Taiwanese audiences for the first time.
Opening Film: 99% The Occupy Wall Street
Collaborative Film. Directors will be in attendance.

Other visiting directors include Steve Brown, CEO of the Ignite Channel, who will present his film, Spark: A Burning Man Story, and Daniel Ziv, a Canadian filmmaker, writer and photographer living in Indonesia. Ziv’s film Jalanan won the prize for Best Documentary at the 2013 Pusan Film Festival and is just beginning its tour of international film festivals. Jalanan is a portrait of three street musicians living in the margins of Jakarta.

As Taiwan has recently experienced its own “occupy movement”, Urban Nomad has invited visiting filmmakers Ewell, Aites and Brown to meet local filmmakers at a panel discussion (Sun, May 11) and discuss protests and what it means to document them. Taiwanese filmmakers Lee Jia-hua is head of a collaborative project -- it has some similarities to Ewell and Aite’s recent film -- that aims to document the Sunflower Movement. Brown is now working on a film project called Occupy The Farm, which is a post-Occupy Wall Street movement now taking place near San Francisco. Other panels will look at the start of Taiwan’s anti-China protests, how to become famous as a YouTube filmmaker and techniques in animation. Panels are free to attend and advance registration can be completed online.

The 23 feature films in the program include 22 Taiwan premiers. Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton premiered at last fall’s LA Film Festival and features Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Quest Love and numerous other hip hop artists, who discuss the influence of LA’s independent hip hop label Stones Throw Records. Doc of the Dead just saw its world premier in March at SXSW and looks at zombie culture, interviewing George Romero, Bruce Campbell (Army of Darkness) and The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, as well as lots of zombies. Murder of Couriers is a film about Vancouver bicycle couriers that has won the interest of Taiwan’s fixed gear cycling clubs. More than 30 clubs have come together to support the film’s screening on Friday, May 16, which will be preceded by raffles and followed by a huge group ride.
Doc of the Dead

Monk with a Camera tells the life story of Nicholas Vreeland, the grandson of famed Vogue editor Diana Vreeland who spurned the jet-setting life to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Unhung Hero is a US production partially filmed in Taipei. A comic romp, it visits Taipei's Snake Alley and a local kung fu sect that hangs weights from their male members, while asking the question, does size really matter? A Skate Man by Taiwanese director Jaco Yu looks at Taiwanese skateboarder Wu Meng-long's attempt to break the world record for the greatest distance covered on a longboard in one day -- more than 400km!

Tickets are available at the theater for most screenings. Advance tickets are available through at this link:

Event: Urban Nomad Film Fest
Time: May 9 to 18
Place: Lux Cinema, #85, Sec 2, Wuchang St, Taipei (Ximen)
Tickets: $230 at the cinema / $200 in advance

Drinks on hand at the festival include: Peroni, Grolsch, Erdinger, Hitachino (craft beer from Japan), Chilean red wine, Red Bull and various soft drinks.

Monk with a Camera