Taiwan has been a beacon for LGBTQ+ rights in Asia, including the entertainment industry.
While cinemas around the world have remained closed due to the pandemic, Taiwan has released five queer-themed films led by Your Name Engraved Herein (Kuang-Hui Liu, 2020), which has become the highest grossing film of the year in the island.
Meanwhile, local niche streaming platform GagaOOLala has announced the second edition of its LGBTQ+ filmmaking conference, the GOL Summit, and a new pitching program to fund new LGBTQ+ projects in collaboration with the Taiwan Content Creative Agency (TAICCA).
The online summit, scheduled from 16 to 17 November, is divided into two sections. On the first day, attendees will find the information and pitching videos of the projects selected for this year’s brand-new GagaOOLala Pitching Sessions (GPS). The program offers investment opportunities of up to $100,000 per project for filmmakers interested in developing new LGBTQ+ series, features and short films.
In addition, the TAICCA will offer additional grants to international co-productions between Taiwan and another country.
Fifteen projects have been pre-selected and announced at a press conference attended by representatives from TAICCA and the Golden Horse Film Project Promotion.
The 15 pitching videos will be available for viewing at the summit today, 16 November, while the advisory committee holds private meetings with each of the pitching teams.
The GPS received more than 150 submissions from 25 different countries. The pre-selected ones are projects from directors Angel Teng (Fragrance of the First Flower), Jin Ong (O! Gayy), Natasha Sung (The Sorrows of Tomboy Martha), Sin-Guei Wang (Be Love in House), Mao Quan Guo (Quarantine Hotel), Kai-yu Chang (Hitwoman), Chun Yu Chang (Once in a Lifetime), Wildredo Cruz Manalang (Spicy Adobo and Stinky Tofu), Jang Young-sun (You’re my BGP Partner), Flavio Florencio (MAle), Doris Yeung (Four Seasons), Sein Lyan Tun (One Tropical Rain of Love and Guilt), Adolfo Alix Jr. (Almost), Alex Chu (Val and Jess) and Popo Fan (Wegen Hegel).
The second day’s schedule consists of five online panel discussions on queer film trends in Asia and the West, marketing and distribution of LGBTQ+ content, the influence of streaming platforms on queer content, the rising trend in Asia of Boys’ Love screen adaptations and new financing opportunities.
The international film experts speaking this year include Frameline’s executive director James Woolley; Berlinale Panorama program manager Bartholomew Sammut; Asia’s ViacomCBS senior vice-president Pierre Cheung; independent film producer Christine Vachon; and Film Development Council of the Philippines chairperson Liza Diño; Queer Screen festival director Lisa Rose; the chairman of the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival Ray Yeung; TAICCA president Lolita C.F. Hu; Portico Media and GagaOOLala chief executive officer Jay Lin; Motion Content Group Asia-Pacific managing director Steven Murphy; country head for the Philippines Dindo G. Marzan; and Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival founder and festival director of Sridhar Rangayan.
Registration is open and free at golsummit.hubilo.com/community/.