National Chung Cheng University
Tsung-Lung Tsai is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communications at National Chung Cheng University (Taiwan) and an independent documentary director. Tsai’s works are known for combining humanitarian sensitivity and a rational analytical approach in dealing with issues such as human rights, environmental disasters, and cultural diversity. His film Killing in Formosa won the Best Documentary for the 2001 Golden Harvest Awards. Behind the Miracle won the Best Documentary on Current Affairs of the 2002 Excellent Journalism Awards. My Imported Wife was invited to screen in the Best of INPUT category at the 2004 International Public Television Screening Conference and was archived in the Museum of Television and Radio in New York. Oil Disease: Surviving Evil reveals the struggles of surviving victims of the 1979 PCBs Poisoning Incident and has won the first prize of the 2008 South Taiwan Film Festival. Tsai was the chief editor of the book The Love and Hatred of Documentaries (2009), featuring interviews with 12 mid-generation documentary directors in Taiwan. More recently, Tsai has collaborated with his Vietnamese immigrant spouse and fellow filmmaker, Kim-Hong Nguyen, in making documentaries about Taiwan’s Southeast Asian new immigrants and migrant workers, such as Out/Marriage, Lovely Strangers and its sequel See You, Lovable Strangers. In 2017, Tsai and Nguyen founded Khuôn viên văn hoá Việt Nam, a cultural center in Chiayi County where they have been holding cultural festivals and community-based programs to promote mutual understanding between Taiwan’s immigrant and non-immigrant locals.
「 Documenting Taiwan’s New Immigrants and Migrant Workers: Production Process and Post-Production Challenges 」
Taiwan is a society where diverse Austronesian peoples and a host of immigrant communities come into contact and live together in pursuit of a better life. While it is fair to say that all Taiwanese are descendants of immigrants in one way or another, marital and labor migrants who came to Taiwan respectively in the 1980s and 1990s, from places like mainland China and Southeast Asia, have been particularly subjected to some of the most discriminatory media representations and unjust treatments in real life. This talk discusses the production process and post-production public screenings of documentaries about Southeast Asian (im)migrant life; in doing so, it hopes to address several urgent issues concerning the development of multiculturalism in Taiwan. Take, for example, the production and circulation of documentaries Out/Marriage (2013) and See You, Lovable Strangers (2017): despite the scarcity of funding sources, the two films have received enthusiastic audience responses, and the production team has managed to bring the films to various screening events around Taiwan as a way of generating public discussions of new immigrants and migrant workers. However, outside documentary representation, it is crucial that the audience see (im)migrants first of all as complex people and not just silent labor force. In fact, insofar as Taiwan’s majority population remain unwilling to speak out on behalf of the (im)migrant communities’ civil rights, even independent documentaries are likely to turn (im)migrants into objects of facile audiovisual consumption.