COVID-19 made it impossible to hold a film festival in 2020, but the larger reason there is no 2020 Urban Nomad Film Fest is that Urban Nomad is one of the most underfunded film festivals in Taiwan. Due to budget concerns and the risk of a huge financial loss that would permanently kill the festival, we decided not to hold an event in 2020. We hope to be back in 2021, but need to find a more sustainable financial model in order for that to happen.
Even though Urban Nomad is considered to be a well-known or even “famous” festival in Taiwan and is passionately supported by fans, its annual budget of over NTD 2 million is only a fraction of most other film festivals in Taiwan, such as TIDFF with annual budget of NTD 10 million, Taoyuan Film Festival with NTD 11 million, or even the very small Chiayi International Art Doc Film Festival with a budget over NTD 3 million. Nearly two-thirds of Urban Nomad budget comes from ticket sales and event income, compared to 10% or less for nearly every other film festival in Taiwan. In this environment, Urban Nomad must compete directly against government-produced film festivals, who don’t care about box office income but are mainly concerned about padding total attendance. Perhaps we are very stupid because we did not create a film festival to chase government money. We only made this festival to push forward important and emerging cultural trends, to support local creators, and invite awesome international filmmakers to Taiwan. Urban Nomad has built a genuine creative culture, something you will not find at most film festivals in Taiwan. In many respects, Urban Nomad has been very successful, but in Taiwan’s film festival environment that is unfortunately not enough.
So at this time we’d like to apologize to our fans and our community of filmmakers. Next year would be Urban Nomad’s 20th anniversary, and we hope to bring the film festival back. But without proper funding, that may not happen. In the meantime, we will keep going with music events, which en lieu of proper government support, has been our major avenue of fundraising.
2020 Urban Nomad Film Fest applicants: If you submitted a film or music video for 2020, or signed up to become a volunteer, your application will also be eligible for our next film event. We’ll notify you when the time comes and give you the opportunity to participate. Our apologies for not holding an event this year. And thank you for wanting to be a part of Urban Nomad.