Starr East Asian Library to Co-Present Taiwan Documentary Film Festival and Symposium
NEW YORK, September 25, 2013 –

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services’ Starr East Asian Library, along with the Columbia University School of the ArtsFilm Studies M.A. Program, the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, and the Asia-Pacific Development Society, in partnership with Ministry of Culture of the Republic of China and Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York will host "Documentary Views of Taiwan,” A Taiwan Documentary Film Festival and Symposium at Columbia University, October 11th – 12th, 2013.


The opening ceremony and reception will celebrate the recent donation of multiple collections of Taiwan Documentary films and Taiwan local histories by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Starr Library.  

“Documentary film in Taiwan has recently become a dynamic and powerful medium through which the history, culture, environment, dreams, hardships, successes and failures of Taiwanese people are exhibited and preserved,” said Jim Cheng, Director of the C.V. Starr East Asian Library.

The festival will feature four recent documentary films: Ebb and Flow (2010) by Ke Chin-Yuan; Song of the Forest (2010) by Ke Chin-Yuan; The Gangsters' God: A documentary about Taiwan's underworld (2006) by Ho Chao-ti; and Sock’n Roll (2013) by Ho Chao-ti.  The event will also include two panel discussions with directors Ke Chin-Yuan and Ho Chao-ti and a group of scholars.

“On the international documentary scene, some of the strongest, most politically vital work is coming out of Taiwan,” said Jane Gaines, Professor of Film, Columbia University.  “It is absolutely thrilling that we are bringing it to New York along with the makers and the scholars who are writing about it today.”

The accompanying symposium will include several lectures by distinguished scholars of Taiwanese film studies: Prof. Guo-Juin Hong, Duke University; Prof. Ru-Shou Robert Chen, National Chengchi University, Taiwan; Prof. Tze-Lan Deborah Sang, Michigan State University; Dr. Shi-Yan Chao, INTERACT Postdoctoral Fellow, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University. 

“We hope that the combination of film screenings with scholarly dialogue about the impact of Taiwanese documentary films will further an understanding the nuances of modern Taiwanese society, environment, and culture under its democratic system,” added Cheng. “We hope this impact is felt not only by Columbia faculty and students, but also people in our local New York community and beyond.”

For a full schedule of events and registration information, please visit the event website

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services (CUL/IS) is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 12 million volumes, over 160,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 21 libraries and various academic technology centers, including affiliates. CUL/IS employs more than 450 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.

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