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HTC, Variety Celebrate ‘The Deserted’ Director Tsai Ming Lang at Venice Film Festival

Tsai Ming Lang, the Taiwan-based auteur director of “The Deserted,” one of the most buzzed-about virtual reality experiments which competed at this year’s Venice Film Festival, was celebrated during a cocktail organized by Variety in association with pioneering cell phone and tech company HTC.

The event, which took place on Sept. 3 at the lavish Villa degli Autori on the Lido, brought together Tsai, whose credits include “Stray Dogs” and “The Wayward Cloud,” with “The Deserted” actor Lee Kang-sheng, James Gan Fong, CEO of Jaunt China, and Liu Szu-Ming, vice president of HTC VR Content Center (pictured above).

“The Deserted,” whose Chinese title is “The Home at Lan Re Temple,” was co-produced by Jaunt China and HTC. “The Deserted” marks the first VR project co-produced by Jaunt China, a recently launched China-based VR company co-founded by Shanghai Media Group (SMG) and China Media Capital (CMC), two of China’s biggest media companies.

“VR works requires an integration of creativity, art and technology and our dream is to be able to work with outstanding artists like director Tsai to create global master pieces,” Fong said when the selection of “The Deserted” was announced in July.

In an interview with Variety, Tsai said “The Home at Lan Re Temple” comes from a short ghost story from the classical Chinese novel “Liao Zhai” and refers to an abandoned temple haunted by spirits.

Lee stars in “The Deserted” as Hsiao Kang, an isolated man recuperating from an illness in the mountains who receives a visit from his late mother and has a female ghost for a neighbor.

“The Deserted” is one of 22 VR experiments competing at the Venice Film Festival.

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