Urban Nomad’s film program is now out and online tickets go on sale this Friday (4/26) at noon.
This 18th year of the Urban Nomad Film Fest includes 55 films, including 25 feature films and 22 short films and 8 music videos. Most of these films will be seen in Taipei or Taiwan for the first time and include one Oscar nominated film, winner of a SXSW Grand Jury Prize, and other prestigious award-winning films. There will be 37 local premieres as well as 12 Asia premieres, while five short films will have world premieres. At least seven international filmmakers will visit the festival and around 30 local filmmakers will participate. There will be at least two concerts, and every single day of the festival we will have filmmakers at screenings for audience Q&As. We’ll have several panel discussions, some free film screenings, and a few parties as well. Participation and bringing creators into direct contact with audiences is what we’re all about.
May 16-27 @ Wonderful Theater, Ximen
7F #116 Hanzhong St, Taipei (台北市萬華區漢中街116號7樓)
Special Warmup Screenings
May 11 (Sat) @ C-LAB
Jianguo S. Rd. Sec.1 #177 (建國南路一段177號)
14:00 “In Character”
18:30 “Milford Graves Full Mantis”, followed by afterparty @ Red Room
FREE admission with online registration links on www.urbannomad.tw
May 17 (Fri), 10pm @ Triangle, Fermin Muguruza Ska Night, with Balkazar
FREE with ticket to any Urban Nomad music film, or for non-ticket holders $300 at the door
May 19 (Sun)
2:30pm “50 Years After Woodstock” with Fermin Muguruza and John Head
4pm “Art and Community” with Patrick Wang
May 26 (Sun)
2pm “Film Funding”
4pm “Music Video Forum”
All panels @ Taipei Cinema Park Exhibition Hall, 19 Kangding Rd, Taipei
FREE with online registration
About the 2019 Urban Nomad Film Fest
Film sections and themes include: 50 Years After Woodstock, Art Power, Astounding Lives, China Now, Herstory, and Punk Rock Techno Folk Jazz. Here is some specific cool stuff to look forward to:
★ Fermin Muguruza is a legendary ska singer from the Basque Countries in Spain, and he will fly here from Barcelona to present his new film Black is Beltza, then perform at an afterparty with a local band Balkazar on 5/18.
★ John Head helped make the first documentary about Jimi Hendrix in 1973 before going on to produce for Saturday Night Live in the 1970s and 1980s. He’ll be here to show us his Hendrix documentary, and then he and Fermin will discuss look back on the impact of 1960s culture in a panel discussion, “50 Years After Woodstock”.
★ Other directors to visit include Hao Wu, who will bring his SXSW Grand Jury Prize winning film, People’s Republic of Desire, to open the festival on 5/16.
★ Valerie Soe will close the festival with her new film Love Boat: Taiwan, on Taiwan’s 50-year-old study exchange program, making its Asia Premiere at Urban Nomad and third overall festival.
★ Patrick Wang will bring his tremendous statement on art and communities, Bread Factory Parts One & Two, featuring local talents Janet Hsieh (Taiwan Fun) and James Marsters. This is an amazing work on so many levels.
★ Amuer, a director from Inner Mongolia, China, will bring a new documentary on punks on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
★ FINT, a German graphic designer and filmmaker, will visit the festival to show Fonotune: An Electric Fairy Tale, starring Guitar Wolf.
★ Urban Nomad’s 2019 section on music films, “PUNK SKA TECHNO FOLK ROCK JAZZ” includes new features on rock icon Joan Jett; the penultimate ska and reggae label Trojan Records; avant-garde jazz pioneer Milford Graves; contemporary punk rockers in Taiwan and China; the doormen of Berlin’s techno scene; the industrial, experimental punk of 1980s Los Angeles; a modern folk singer from China’s Gansu Province; the future music of an imaginary Japan; and cabaret songs of 1960s Kaohsiung. As for live events, there will be a jazz tribute to Milford Graves following a FREE SCREENING of his documentary on May 11 and Fermin Muguruza’s gig at Triangle on May 18.
★Other festival sections cover the latest developments in art, culture, technology and human behavior that are defining our times. Films on Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Mapplethorpe, nuns who grow weed, photojournalist Marie Colvin, the first all woman sailboat to race around the world, and more. As always, Urban Nomad is a festival about the times we are living in, the histories that produced us, and how the world is changing before our eyes.
50 Years After Woodstock
As for the section “50 Years After Woodstock”, I’d like to make a special note. The Woodstock Music & Arts Festival of 1969 marked the pinnacle of the hippy movement, and also ironically the moment of its commodification. Warner Brothers did not make the famous Woodstock documentary, but they bought the film rights soon after the festival, and by owning the film, they also came to own the trademark and merchandising for Woodstock ever since. So most of the money earned using the Woodstock name in the last 50 years has actually gone to a commercial Hollywood film studio. Warner Brothers commissioned several more “hippie movies” in the post-Woodstock years, including hiring John Head and others to make Jimi Hendrix (1973). Mr. Head will be here to tell us all about it.
What did the 1960s actually mean? Free love, drugs, rock ‘n roll, personal empowerment, the ascendance of aesthetic and cultural forms as a way of defining a society, and certainly much more. Three films look specifically back on this era. Magic Trip (2012) chronicles writer Ken Kesey’s LSD-fueled road trip of 1964 with original footage shot by Kesey and his Band of Merry Pranksters. Their voyage is a landmark moment viewed by many as the start of hippy culture. Jimi Hendrix (1973) follows the life of a rock icon in those crucial years 1967-1970, taking us back to the texture and feel of the Woodstock era. Black is Beltza (2018) is a new animated film set in 1967, that offers an international view of America’s grand countercultural moment and how it influenced the world. We look forward to screenings and discussions and lots of crazy stories. As the Grateful Dead once told us, “what a long, strange trip it’s been.”
– David Frazier, Program Director