The Kaohsiung Film Festival (hereinafter KFF), a city film festival organised by the Information Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government, was founded in 2001. Second only to the Golden Horse Film Festival and the Taipei Film Festival, it is the third largest in Taiwan. In its earlier stage, KFF was outsourced through opening bidding to different companies. Not until the professional director Hao-Jie Huang joined the team in 2007 did the Festival gradually develop its unique style. Featuring a specific theme in genre films each year, KFF distinguishes itself from its Taipei counterpart and more closely resembles a fantastic film festival.
The themes of KFF vary each year. In 2018, the Festival revolves its discussion and exploration around the topic of ‘Love, Hate and Family’. Drawing on the family portrait in the film The Addams Family, the graphic designer uses high colours contrast in the key visual as the metaphor of the enigmatic relationships among family members and the absurdity of human life. Aside from its film selection style, KFF strives to elevate its international visibility while breaking through the framework of the Golden Horse and Taipei Film Festival. As such the Festival set up the International Short Film Competition Unit in 2011, welcoming international submissions of short films under 25 minutes. It also formed a long-term alliance with Asia’s largest short film festival, Short Shorts Film Festival, in Tokyo. Recently, it has become the major short film competition in Taiwan, nurturing numerous emerging filmmakers.
Cinema fans once said that as soon as one left Taipei, she entered the desert of art films. The establishment of KFF changed this ecology when it became the largest film event in southern Taiwan. As a burgeoning number of filmmakers and professionals attend the Festival, it widens the horizon of the local audience. In an interview, Hao-Jie Huang also mentioned that KFF has cultivated a group of young fans that enjoy independent films. The only reason why KFF’s speed of accumulating audience still falls far behind Taipei is because Kaohsiung suffers a higher percentage of younger population outflow.