Ethnographic Documentary Film Project

  The Ethnographic Documentary Film Project is a research, production and screening undertaking headed by Academia Sinica’s Institute of Ethnology’s research fellow Hu Tai-Li, a Taiwanese pioneer of ethnographic documentaries. Since 1984, she has completed eight documentaries dealing with Taiwan’s ethnic groups: The Return of Gods and Ancestors: Paiwan Five Year Ceremony (1984, Paiwan tribe); Songs of Pasta’ay (1988, Saisiyat tribe); Voices of Orchid Island (1993, Yami/Tao tribes); Passing Through My Mother-in-law’s Village (1997, Han people of Southern Fujian); Sounds of Love and Sorrow (2000, Paiwan tribe); Stone Dream (2004, Han mainlanders and indigenous people); After Passing (2006, Han people of Southern Fujian) and Returning Souls (2012, Ami tribe). The first six were produced on 16mm film, while the two latter ones were filmed using standard and HD digital video cameras.

  After completing these films which she directed, Hu Tai-Li took each one to the original filming locations and other aboriginal tribe settlements for screening and post-viewing discussion. She also entered film festivals both at home and abroad, winning recognition with the Chicago International Film Festival "Silver Plaque Award" in the Documentary Film category, Houston International Film Festival "Gold Special Jury Award," Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival "The Best Documentary Film Award" , Taiwan International Documentary Festival “Jury’s Special Mention Award,” and Jean Rouch International Ethnographic Film Festival (Paris) “Mention du Patrimoine Culturel Immateriel Award”. Her works have also selected for Joris Ivens Competition at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, International Competition at Marseille International Documentary Film Festival, and to participate in many renowned ethnographic film festivals all over the world. Passing Through My Mother-in-law’s Village was the first Taiwanese documentary film to be shown in a commercial movie theater; Sounds of Love and Sorrow and Stone Dream have also been officially screened in Taipei cinemas.

  The current project’s primary focus is digitizing and archiving the 16mm tapes, audiocassettes, digital videos, completed ethnographic documentaries, recordings of screenings and discussions, as well as other related video and audio files. Consisting of a total of 249 recordings and 263 photographs, this project is certain to prove extremely valuable for research and continuing education purposes.