A three-hour train ride from Taiwan's capital, this is my first time in the gorgeous ocean-side city of Hualien, where tonight's screening of my film '-1287' kicked off the Taiwan International Documentary Film Festival (TIDF) tour here (INFO).
Held at Timelight 1939, a former Japanese residence from the period of occupation, the screening was followed by a talk entitled "When Camera Comes in Between: An Intimate Vision" which focused on the ethical and moral boundaries of documentary filmmaking. Taiwanese documentary director Mr. Shen Ko-shang joined the discussion which was moderated by TIDF Programmer Ms. Fan Wu.
As the talk immediately followed the screening of '-1287', the conversation included questions from the audience specifically relating to the film. The last question of the evening: "How does one keep a 'safe distance' from one's subject when filming?"
I explained that making a film is no different than any other relationship one has in life. There is no "safe distance" that can be kept if one ever wishes to have a meaningful relationship. We must open ourselves up to the possibility of being hurt while trusting that the person we care for will not hurt us. At a "safe distance" one could never truly know love.
|with the audience at Timelight 1939|
|with TIDF Festival director Mr. Wood Lin|
|with TIDF tour staff|