Taiwanese films “Classmates Minus” and “A Leg” are set to be the curtain raisers of Taiwan’s Golden Horse Film Festival, one of a handful of film festivals around the world that manages to press ahead amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
Organizers of the festival said on Monday that the festival will run Nov. 5 – 22. Both opening films are produced by veteran director Chung Mong-hong, who also served as director of cinematography for the two features.
“Classmates,” a drama involving a group of former high school pals who see their friendship put to test amid their struggles with love, marriage and careers, is directed by Huang Hsin-yao, who won the Golden Horse best new director award and best adapted screenplay for his debut feature “The Great Buddha+” in 2017. “Classmates,” starring Liu Kuan-ting, Rexen Cheng and Lin Na-dou was said to be inspired by Huang’s 2015 documentary “Bluffing,” about his own high school friends.
“Leg” is the debut feature of Chang Yao-sheng as writer-director, who earned a Golden Horse nomination for best original screenplay for “A Sun” last year. Starring Gwei Lun-mei and Yo Yang as a couple whose love blossomed through ballroom dancing, “Leg” follows the journey of a wife who battles to keep her husband’s body intact after he dies of a leg amputation.
While most film festivals around the world have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Golden Horse Film Festival, like the recent Taipei festival is set to go ahead with live audiences. With less than 500 infections, Taiwan is one of the world’s few success stories in containing the coronavirus.