Originally a Japanese genre of fictional media depicting homoerotic relationships between male characters, the BL sweeps across Taiwan, the Philippines, and Thailand. There is an increasing production of TV dramas and feature films in these countries. During the 8th Taiwan International Queer Film Festival, two Philippine BL films, Hello Stranger: The Movie (2021) and Gameboys: The Movie (2021) were shown on the KKTIX, along with a Japanese film entitled Coming Home (2020). In addition to the online screenings, two panel discussions were held, inviting filmmakers and researchers from Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Australia to talk about their own works while discussing the emerging phenomenon of BL culture in these countries.
The first panel discussion, moderated by the director of the Queer Festival Yao Jin-ting, explored the idea of indulging beauty existing in Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines and its relation to the male same-sex romance genre. The keynote speakers included cultural anthropologist Thomas Baudinette from Macquarie University and Chookiat Sakveerakul, the Thai director who has made the Love of Siam (2007) and Dew, Let's Go Together (2019).
The second event, chaired by Taiwanese film critic Michael Mai, invited Ivan Andrew Payawal to talk to Taiwanese filmmaker, Ishtar Tsai. Ivan Andrew Payawal is the director of Gameboys: the Movie and Tsai has directed drama series including Hijra in Between (2018) and HIStory (2017-2019).
Formed by researchers, curators, and professionals working in film and television, the Taiwan International Media and Education Association is committed to the application of motion images and telecommunication media in education. It also works on the public awareness of global issues, literacy of visual aesthetics, and the right of access to the media. Since 2014, the Association has been organising the International Queer Film Festival with the purpose not only to introduce to people in Taiwan LGBT films coming from around the world but also to showcase the best Taiwanese queer cinema to audiences living somewhere else. With the help of motion pictures, a better understanding of the worldly vision will be achieved.
For more information about the film festival, visit https://www.tiqff.com/