Retrospectives tributes to German director Volker Koepp and Takamine Go from Japan are featured in the upcoming Taiwan International Documentary Festival, which will kick off on Friday and run until May 9, 2021.
The Filmmaker in Focus section will include 11 films by Koepp and the festival claims that the program is one of the most comprehensive showcases of the director’s work in Asia. Koepp films “have so far only been sporadically screened” in the region, TIDF organizers said on Monday. The director will attend the festival virtually with a live online master class and a series of pre-recorded post-screening Q&A sessions.
Born in Stettin and raised in Germany under the era of the socialist German Democratic Republic, Koepp was educated at the Filmhochschule Babelsberg, before joined state-owned film studio DEFA in 1970. He has made more than 60 films throughout his career.
Highlights to be screened in Taiwan will include “Wittstock Cycle,” a series of documentaries that took 23 years to film at a textile factory, and “March Brandenburg Trilogy.” The trilogy began by following the lives of brick workers and captures the era around the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the reunification of Germany.
Works by visual artist Takamine that depict the complexity of history and cultural identity of Okinawa are presented in TIDF’s Retrospective of Filmmaker section. Born in Okinawa Prefecture and having lived through the U.S. military rule of the region in southwest of Japan, the artist has experienced a constant change of identity and nationality throughout his life.
Selection ranged from one of the director’s first films “Dear Photograph” (aka “Sashingwa”) from 1973 to “Hengyoro,” his most recent work from 2016. Organizers said the presentation is “the first major retrospective of the 72-year-old director’s oeuvre outside of Japan.”