The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Formosa Film Festival and Q&A with Director David W.

Head over to the Black Box Theater tomorrow at 4:15PM to enjoy our annual Formosa Film Festival. Heinz Hermanns, director of the Berlin International Short Film Festival and Guest Judge, will also be giving a special flex presentation at the Black Box Theater.

The Formosa Film Festival poster for this year!

The Formosa Film Festival is a celebration of students making films, directing, filming, and acting. Besides the videos that are submitted for the contest, many students have submitted films that are class projects or promotional videos from assemblies like IASAS.
Mr. Franklin, head of the Formosa Film Festival at TAS, said: “Since we now have film production and documentary classes, the new, added purpose of the festival is to serve as a showcase of what they are doing in that class.”
Some students worked on and finished their videos way back in the fall and some of the pieces have been ongoing. There are even some narrative projects and music videos that students worked on individually.
“Students have been giving up their weekends and lunches. I run into a lot of kids in the video editing studio and they’re not just film students,” said Mr. Franklin.
Many teachers are now starting to incorporate film type projects into their classes and some of these pieces may be showcased at the Formosa Film Festival. Film students were asked to submit specific projects as well, such as their narrative short films.
According to Mr. Franklin: “There will be highlights from all the films that were submitted for the contest and we will see the entire winning films. After the event, there will be a Vimeo channel set up so that everyone can access all the nominees’ videos. In total, there are 54 videos this year.”
Some of the best student works will be honored but the actual contest will be separate. Outside judges will judge the contest films and the film teachers will vote as a tiebreaker only.
“Students should come out to the festival because it is going to be visually stunning. They’re going to see some amazing filmwork, some great cinematography, and it’s going to be a great show!” said Mr. Franklin.
To students who want to be learn more extensively about film, he advised, “Go out and make some films. If you are already out there making films, think about submitting them to the Formosa Film Festival. There are some great films being created and we want to support and celebrate that.”
Q&A with student director David W. (11), who worked on his film with Debbie L. (11)
B&G: What was the main plot of your film?
David: The film was a documentary, so there were no plot. The idea of the film was to interview expat parents of TAS, and to discover their stories. Overall we were trying to show TAS’s diversity.
B&G: What are some struggles you faced while making the film?
David: The biggest struggles I faced was finding expat parents that had the time to talk to me. Because of their jobs, I had to get them to sign a consent form so I don’t get into any legal issues. Other minor struggles I went through were technical issues. Since I only do film out of a passion and not as a class, it took me a lot of time just figuring out how the equipment worked.
B&G: What was your best memory from this experience?
David: The best memory from making this film was to be able to chat with parents. A lot of these parents properly expressed the amount of changes they went through, but I learned a lot on how to overcome tough times. Even though I am only 16, these people are my role models in terms of unity and love that I want to achieve in the future, and that made the process so memorable.
B&G: If you could change one thing about the way you produced this film, what would it be?
David: If I had to change one thing about my film, I would ask someone to help me do the filming and other technical work so I could give more attention the content of the film.

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