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Transmedia filmmaker John Hsu first captured the attention of the entertainment industry when he won Best Director at the Golden Bell Awards in 2005 for his television movie, REAL ONLINE. After a series of short films, his 2017 VR short, YOUR SPIRITUAL TEMPLE SUCKS, picked up awards around the world and was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. It would also be chosen as part of HIFF VR during last year’s Festival. His latest film, DETENTION (screening at HIFF40 this year), Hsu’s feature film debut, became a box-office hit, and based on a popular videogame. Hsu is also a co-founder of AFK [email protected], the biggest machinima production group in Taiwan. His latest VR work, GREAT HOAX: THE MOON LANDING, was chosen to premiere at the Venice Film Festival this year.
In this SPOTLIGHT ON TAIWAN/HIFF TALK STORY, we chat with Hsu about his innovative work across many mediums, especially in VR and ‘machinima,’ and look at the new work flows that are happening in today’s filmmaking, led by Taiwan’s innovation in VR/XR technology to tell new ways of storytelling, as well as retaining the development and production of “traditional” cinema.
John HSU (1981, Taiwan) obtained his master's degree in the department of Radio, Television and Film at Shih Hsin University. His first TV film, REAL ONLINE, was awarded Best Fiction Film at the 2005 South Taiwan Film & Video Festival. It also earned him the Best Director Award at Golden Bell Awards, the biggest television award in Taiwan. Hsu is co-founder of AFK [email protected], the biggest machinima production group in Taiwan. Several of his short films have screened at film festivals around the world. DETENTION is his first feature film. Hsu has a special interest in digital culture, video games, comedy and science fiction.