Against the light, I fly in my own direction...
A story based on the life of Taiwanese pianist Yu-Siang HUANG 

Presented by Wong Kar Wai, Touch of Light is based on the real life story of Yu-Siang Huang, who stars as himself. Touch of The Light tells Huang’s story as a blind piano prodigy from rural Taiwan and his relationship with Xiao Jie (Sandrine PINNA), a young woman who dreams of becoming a dancer despite enormous challenges. Winner of multiple Golden Horse awards and Taiwan's submissions for the Academy Award in 2012, the film is critically acclaimed and warmly received worldwide, blessed with the most striking performance by Yu-Siang Huang as it celebrates triumphs of those who dare to dream. The screening will be followed by a piano recital performed by Yu-Siang Huang and Q&A with director Jung-Chi Chang.

27 November 2013  Touch of The Light   逆光飛翔     
 Director Jung-chi Chang | 2012 | Taiwan, Hong Kong | 110 mins

Date:27 November 2013
Buy Ticket: http://www.filmhousecinema.com/ or Call Box Office: 0131 228 2688
Venue:Film House Cinema, 
88 Lothian Road Edinburgh EH3 9BZ
Buy Ticket 

CAST:
Yu-Siang HUANG as Siang
Sandrine PINNA/ CHANG Yung-yung as Jie
Lieh LEE as Siang’s mother
Fang-Yi SHEU as dance instructor

  Director: Jung-chi CHANG
  Production countrie(s) : Taiwan/Hong Kong/China
  Year: 2012
  Genre: Romance/Drama
  Language: Mandarin
  Subtitle language: Chinese, English
  Running time: 110 mins



Synopsis

Based on true events related to the life of Taiwanese piano prodigy Yu-Siang HUANG

(Siang played by himself), this is a story of inspiration, discovery and love. Born to a rural family in Taiwan unprepared for the birth of a blind son, Yu-Siang was a curious and precocious child. Touch and sound was everything to him. With the love of his mother and support of his family, he grew up with no barriers; that is until he had to face the real world as he left his family behind in order to attend university where he had to compete on the same playing field as the sighted students and to find his own way.

He soon crossed paths with Jie (Sandrine Pinna), a beautiful but frustrated cold drinks vendor who dreams of being a dancer, but whose struggles against the harsh realities of her life render her helpless. However, when she witnesses Yu-Siang’s fearless determination and understood his optimism and inner peace, she is inspired and determined to hold on to her dream. TOUCH OF THE LIGHT- a story of dreams, determination, love, and believing in yourself.


About the film

Touch of the Light is a film based on Chang Jung-Chi’s award-winning short film, The End of the Tunnel. After winning the Best Short Film at the 2010 Taipei Film Festival, Chang spent two years writing a new script. Inspired by Yu-Siang Huang’s actual life story, Touch of the Light portrays the friendship between a blind pianist and a girl who longs to become a dancer but doesn’t have the means to realize her dreams. The natural and yet brilliant performances delivered by the actors received such overwhelmingly positive reactions at the 2012 Taipei Film Festival that it won both the Audience Choice Award and the Best Actress Award (Sandrine PINNA).

The lead actors, Sandrine PINNA (Best Actress 2012 Taipei Film Festival, Asia Pacific Film Festival) and Yu-Siang, build on the excellent chemistry established between them in making the short film, The End of the Tunnel, and have turned the story into a moving and poetic feature. In addition, supporting roles are played by two of Taiwan’s veteran performers, actresses Lieh Lee and actor Shu-Chin Ko along with the world renowned dancer Fang-Yi Sheu. Their realist acting not only brings these characters to life but ignites additional sparkle on the screen.

A New Film Born From A True Story

Touch of the Light is inspired by a real-life story. Yu-Siang is now a 25-year-old young man. Although he was born blind, in a rural area of Taiwan, early on in life his extraordinary talent in music was revealed. Upon his University graduation be became the first blind student to have obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance in Taiwan. He is known for having a kind heart and is so sensitive that he can “see” the feelings hidden in people around him. He listens in the dark and takes in every movement no matter how subtle it is. It is said that anyone who has ever listened to or seen one of his performances cannot help but be deeply touched and moved by his music.

Despite his impaired vision, Siang places no restrictions on himself and what he can achieve. Director Jung-Chi Chang spotted Siang’s unique potential and spent two years turning his true story into a moving and compelling new script. Chang tries to portray Siang’s memories and visual experience through the blurred silhouette created by the light and shadow. Further impact on the audiences’ emotions is achieved through the combination of Siang’s passionate piano playing and Sandrine’s inspired dancing.

Discovered and initiated by Wong Kar Wai

Touch of the Light is directed by Chang Jung-Chi whose short film, The End of the Tunnel was awarded Best Short Film at the Taipei Film Festival. His talent was recognized and appreciated by Kai Wai Wong and Jet Tone Films who subsequently initiated this project.  Kai Wai Wong is convinced that there are many gifted filmmakers yet to be discovered in Taiwan and consequently he has been keeping a close eye on the development in the Taiwanese film industry, and is willing to support young directors with great potential. Four years ago, when he saw The End of the Tunnel, he was deeply impressed by the unique visual style demonstrated in the film and decided to work closely with the Director to develop it further. Touch of the Light is the result of Jung-Chi Chang and Kar Wai Wong’s first collaboration.

Supported by Internationally Renowned Cinematographer and Dancer

In order to introduce dancing to the story which is one of the most important elements in the film it was decided to invite internationally renowned modern dance maestro, Fang-Yi Sheu, to join the production team and cast. This is her screen debut as she plays Sandrine’s mentor and instructor. Audiences will see not only her inspired and brilliant dancing but the skill in which she taught and motivated Sandrine. Rachel Chen, one of the Associate Producers said, “Ms. Sheu is a born professional performer. When she was doing the dubbing for the film, even though she wasn’t dancing, she spoke so naturally as if she was teaching in the class.” In order to prepare for the role and to get into the character, Sandrine spent four months in an intensive dance course before the shooting started.

Dylan Doyle, the cinematographer of Touch of the Light, is a well-known French cinematographer who had previously worked with Michael Gondry. Before Touch of the Light, Doyle had collaborated with Jung-Chi Chang on a series of ASUS commercials and where they developed an excellent rapport and the possibilities for future collaboration was established. As a result, they decided to work together again to explore this unique world felt by Siang. Their joint effort has created an innovative visual style for the film.

Director’s Biography

Born in Taipei in 1980, Jung-Chi Chang received a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Applied Media Arts at the National Taiwan University of Arts. He started making films while still in university. In 2006, his My Football Summer won the Best Documentary Award at the Golden Horse Awards and in 2008, The End of the Tunnel, his graduation film, won the Best Short Film Award at Taipei Film Festival. That year it was also nominated for the Best Short Film at the Golden Horse Film Awards. At the time, he said that Inspiration for his work mostly comes from his everyday life.

In 2006, when Chang co-directed My Football Summer with Li-Chou Yang, it not only won Best Documentary at the Golden Horse Awards but was invited to numerous international film festivals including the Busan Film Festival. Chang made his graduation film, The End of the Tunnel, which won critical acclaim and the Best Short Film Award at Taipei Film Festival. It was nominated for Best Short Film at the Golden Horse Film Awards and shown in many film festivals around the world. It was commercially released with other two shorts, Summer Afternoon (directed by Ho Wi-Ding) and Family Viewing (directed by Kuo Cheng-Chui) as a three-segment program which reminded contemporary audiences of the 1980’s Taiwanese classic, The Sandwich Man.  Jung-Chi Chang is undoubtedly one the most promising young directors in the Taiwanese film industry.

Director’s Filmography

    2012 Touch of the Light

    2010 Mayday 3 DNA (co-director)  

    2009 Hockey Go (Documentary)

    2006 My Football Summer (Winner of Best Documentary at Golden Horse Award)

    2008 The End of the Tunnel (Short Film)

Director’s Statement
The big smile on Yu-Siang’s face I saw when he was playing the piano was the first impression he left on me. It was summer of 2005. My subsequent friendship with Yu-Siang imbued and inspired my curiosity about the unknown world in which blind people live. If cinema could create a new world, I wish Yu-Siang could see himself and the gap between him and the world could be narrowed. If cinema could realize a dream, I wish all of us would listen to our long-lost inner voices and play the unique music of our own.

About the Actors
Sandrine Pinna
One of the most prolific faces at the Taipei Film Festival and one of the most promising young actresses of contemporary Taiwanese cinema, the Eurasian actress Sandrine Pinna began her career as a child actor at the age of ten in advertising. She received her first Best Actress nomination at the 2008 Golden Horse Film Awards for her role in Miao Miao. Ms Pinna holds the record of having most nominations in a single film festival in Taiwan as her performances in 2008 in Yang Yang and Miao Miao along with three short films (including Intoxicant, The End of the Tunnel and Diva Viva) all participated in competition at the Taipei Film Festival. In addition, Pinna was nominated for Best Actress for her role in Yang Yang and won the Best Actress Awards at the 11th Taipei Film Festival and the 53rd Asian Pacific Film Festival. In 2012, Pinna won Best Actress at the Taipei Film Festival once more, for her performance in Touch of the Light.

Yu-Siang Huang
Yu-Siang Huang obtained a BA in Piano Performance from the National Taiwan University of Arts in 2009. The now 26 year old Yu-Siang suffered from a retinal disease when he was born and lost his eyesight as a result. He showed his music talent at very young age as he remembered every single note he had ever heard and that inspired him to learn the piano. He once said, “Music enables me to feel the colours in the world.” Currently, Huang plays in “Baba Band” and “Dark Glasses”, a band su

Spotlight Taiwan 
Taiwan Film Festival 
There have been exciting developments in the Taiwan cinematic landscape in recent years, with more high quality and diverse films being made each year, gaining international attention and recognition. The Taiwan Film Festival provides a unique opportunity to see some of these great examples of contemporary Taiwan cinema on big screen, many of them screening for the first time in the UK. 

Seven award-winning feature films by emerging Taiwanese filmmakers have been handpicked to share with the audience of Edinburgh, each with a unique theme and telling touching modern stories in Taiwan, connected by the common thread of relationship and family to give a glimpse into the kaleidoscopic life of Taiwan. 
We are honoured to have directors and cast from Taiwan to attend audience Q&As at four of the screenings. There will also be an Asian Film Workshop at the University of Edinburgh and a piano recital concert by Yu-Siang Huang, the leading star from Touch of Light’ in the Reid Concert Hall on 29 November, both open to the public. 

To keep up to date, feel free to ‘Like’ our Facebook page, ‘Spotlight Taiwan in Edinburgh’, and visit our website at goo.gl/arzmFZ 

Taiwan Film Festival is part of the 2013-2014 Spotlight Taiwan project, organised by History of Art at the University of Edinburgh, in collaboration with Ministry of Culture Taiwan and Filmhouse. A series of events will be hosted throughout the year to celebrate contemporary Taiwanese Art, Culture and Cinema in Scotland.