Swallow Wings Flies With ‘A New Day’ and Taiwan Auteur Slate – EFM

Taipei-based sales agent and local distributor Swallow Wings Films has picked up Chen Hung-i’s drama thriller “A New Day.” It joins a bulging slate that the company will pitch to buyers at the European Film Market in Berlin.

Chen, whose last films “As We Like It” and “The Last Painting” both played at the Rotterdam festival, previously pitched “A New Day” at the Golden Horse project market (FPP) in 2021. It comprises a story about two men from different generations who fall in love due to a random encounter. It takes an accident to determine how their relationship will work out. The film, which leans on “Better Days” cinematographer Yu Jing-Pin, and stars Frederick Lee, Lavinia, Hank Wang and Oscar Chiu, is currently in post-production ahead of a 2023 release.

The company’s EFM lineup also includes “Kissing the Ground You Walked On,” a debut feature by Heng Fai Hong, which picked up three Golden Horse Film Awards nominations and played last month in Rotterdam. The story involves an uninspired writer who is entranced by a new tenant who appears innocent, but whose life is all a performance.

Getting a market screening at EFM is “Melody-Go-Round,” a fantasy drama by “A Fish Out of Water” director Lai Kuo An. It depicts the blurred lines between imagination and reality that a young woman experiences when she and her semi-estranged parents move into a new property. It boasts James Wen, Peggy Tseng and Heme Liao in the cast and picked up four nominations last year at the Taipei Film Festival.

“Gaga,” the latest effort by Laha Mebow, was a local hit in 2022, and found considerable traction on the festival circuit. Told in a mixture of aboriginal language and Chinese, the story tracks the aftermath of the death of a tribal elder. Consequences include a land dispute, financial difficulties and a mayoral campaign that may violate traditional tribal norms. Mebow, who previously directed “Hang in There Kids” and “Come for You,” earned the best director prize at the Golden Horse Film Awards for “Gaga.”

Swallow Wings will also be pitching two films in post-production. “Come Home, My Child” is a feature documentary filmed over ten years, featuring four women who are regular visitors to a prison, and telling their stories and those of some of the inmates they visit. Now in post-production, it was directed by Jamine Lee Ching-hui.

Chong Keat Aun (“The Story of Southern Islet”) is currently at work finishing “Snow in Midsummer,” a history-themed drama about a woman who nearly 50 years later delves into the events and that saw two of her relatives killed during a 1969 riot in Kuala Lumpur. The film is structured as a co-venture between companies in Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan and earned financial support from France’s CNC when it was pitched at the 2020 edition of the Golden Horse FPP.

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