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Taiwan-Southeast Asian Musical and Cinematic Connections:The Case of New Narratives Film Festival

On December 12, 2022, Taiwan Studies BINUS University held a webinar entitled “Taiwan Southeast Asian Musical and Cinematic Connections: The Case of New Narratives Film Festival”. This event invited film critic, curator and Associate Professor-level Technical Expert at College of Communication, National Chengchi University, Taiwan Chung Shefong as a speaker.

In the New Southbond Policy, which is Taiwan's policy which is specifically aimed at Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia, Taiwan wishes to strengthen relations with Southeast Asian countries from all aspects, especially socio-cultural. Film is one of the means of conveying culture that is effective and easily accepted by people from all walks of life. With New Narratives Film Festival presents performances and cinematic works that explore conversations between ethnic groups, gender and identity, and the urban-rural development gap. The event also spotlights parallels in cultural development and historical experiences between Taiwan’s Hakka people and communities across Southeast Asia.

Taiwan New Cinema (first wave, 1982–1989; second wave, 1990 onward) has a unique history regarding film festivals, particularly in the way these films are circulated at major European film festivals. It shares a common formalist concern about cinematic modernism with its Western counterparts, departing from previous modes of filmmaking that were preoccupied with nostalgically romanticizing China’s image.

In this event, curator Chung Shefong said Taiwan and Southeast Asian nations share deep artistic and cultural connections, citing the influence of the Taiwan campus folk song movement of the 1970s on the development of the Mandarin music industry in Singapore in the subsequent decade. This seminar aims to deepen this mutual understanding through providing viewers with the opportunity to experience diverse worldviews. Films containing musical works that highlight key social issues from the periods in which they were written, while the others examine livelihoods, immigration, transgender issues and overlooked historical events from Southeast Asian countries, respectively.

This event was moderated by Dr. Ekky Imanjaya as a faculty member of the BINUS University film department. There were 571 audiences from BINUS University students and the Indonesian public. The audience's question and answer session with Chong Shefong was active, so it didn't feel like time had passed. Hopefully the public's attention to the culture of Taiwan and Indonesia through this film can become a cultural bridge between the two countries.

About Speaker

Masters in Humanistic Psychoanalytic Research, University of Kent, UK experience: National Chengchi University, associate professor-level professional technician, Department of Broadcasting and Television; National Chengchi University, associate professor-level professional technician, School of Communication; National Chengchi University, director (secondary), Student Affairs Office Art Center. Research expertise, Taiwanese aboriginal music, world music genres, culture, and society.

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