VR film starring Tsai Ming-liang to open at Tribeca Film Festival

04/28/2021 03:28 PM
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Image taken from: tribecafilm.com
Image taken from: tribecafilm.com

New York, April 27 (CNA) A virtual reality film featuring Malaysian-born, Taiwan-based director Tsai Ming-liang (蔡明亮) in the lead role will premiere in a lineup of "immersive" films at New York's Tribeca Film Festival this June, the festival announced Tuesday.

"Missing Pictures Episode 2: Tsai Ming-liang" is the second installment in a series of documentary shorts by French filmmaker Clément Deneux that focuses on directors' favorite stories that they were never able to bring to the big screen.

The film, which can be viewed using VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, was one of 11 to be selected for the "Virtual Arcade" (virtual reality) category of the festival's immersive cinema lineup, which was announced on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Kaohsiung Film Festival last October, Tsai said his role in the film was to narrate a story from his childhood while the movie's production crew captured his facial expressions and gestures.

The first film in the planned five-part "Missing Pictures" series was an eight-minute piece on American director Abel Ferrara, which was produced by a multinational team including Taiwan's Public Television Service (PTS) and Serendipity Films.

2021 will mark the fourth consecutive year a Taiwanese VR film has been featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, following on previous selections "Chalkroom" in 2018, "Mr. Buddha" in 2019, and "Home" and "Great Hoax: The Moon Landing" in 2020.

This year's festival will return as an in-person event, running from June 9-20, after moving to a virtual format last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tsai, 63, is the acclaimed director of films including "Vive L'Amour," which won a Golden Lion (best picture) award at the 1994 Venice Film Festival, and the 2013 feature "Stray Dogs."

His most recent film, "Days," starring long-time collaborator Lee Kang-sheng (李康生), was released in 2020.

(By Ozzy Yin and Matthew Mazzetta)

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