Thursday, December 25, 2014

2014 Closing Film: JALANAN director Daniel Ziv with the audience.
The 2014 Urban Nomad Taiwanese Short Film Awards concluded Sunday night, May 18, 2014. In all, this year's competition drew more than 300 submissions, including 66 submissions in a new category for Taiwanese Independent Music Videos. The festival featured eight programs of shorts, including 28 short films, 33 animated films and 10 music videos. Congratulations and thanks to all of the participating directors. From the story of how the black metal band Chthonic learned martial arts for their music video "Supreme Pain for the Tyrant" to John Hsu's parody of "micro-film" marketing campaigns in "The Great Escape from Cafe City", there were plenty of great moments. 

Jurors for the 2014 Urban Nomad Awards included indie singer (formerly signed to Sony Music Taiwan) Desserts Chang (張懸), Bark Magazine editor Guo Xin-xin (郭心芯), and film producer Roger Cheng (黃江豐).

2014 Big Nomad Prize winner Ella Raidel (center).

「大遊牧獎」The Big Nomad Prize

Prize: $20,000
Film: Cinema Isn't I See, It's I Fly
Directors: Ella Raidel (日得艾蘭)
Award presented by: Anjalika Wang (王耿瑜), chairperson of the Taiwan Original Filmmakers Union (TOFU) and David Frazier, Urban Nomad Festival Director
Film info: 2013 / Taiwan, Austria / 1 minute / no dialogue

Synopsis: An old man in a Taiwanese nightmarket stall watches a television, which shows a man skydiving. The depiction of this simple short scene quickly becomes a metaphor for cinema itself, and the liberation one can experience in the face of moving images.

Juror's Statement: Due to its Intense visual style and the poignant editing of the narrative, the film is very brief, but very hard to forget.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Yes, there are still tickets left for the Burning Man Movie!

There are at least 60 tickets still available for SPARK: A BURNING MAN STORY on May 10 at 7:25pm, including Q&A with Steve Brown. Tickets can be purchased at the theater from noon Saturday.

Urban Nomad's online advance tickets are only sold until about 36 hours before each film. If our ticketing website,, says there are no tickets left, this does not mean that screenings are sold it. It just means the system has stopped selling tickets. In the event of sold-out screenings, we will post the information at the top of the left-hand column of this blog.

The reason for this is that the ticketing system,, allows users to place an order online, and then reserves the tickets for 24 hours, giving users time to go to 7-Eleven to pay and collect the tickets. In order to have a correct count of tickets available at the door, we have to stop advance sales early. We apologize if this is any inconvenience.

There are still tickets left for all showings this weekend. Please refer to this blog as the official word on sold out tickets. This year we have moved to a larger theater to allow more people to see the films.

Before the screening of SPARK, there will be a pre-party from 4:20pm at the nearby venue Custard Cream. Entry is free and please keep the burner spirit alive and bring a bottle or two to contribute to the open-share bar.
Spark director Steve Brown


WHEN:5/10 (Sat) 4:20-7:00pm
WHERE:Custard Cream 卡市達創業加油站- 武昌街二段122-1號
Wuchang Rd Sec 2, No 122-1 3F
MORE INFO: Please see the Facebook event

Steve will also be part of a panel discussion on Sunday, where he will introduce his new film project, Occupy The Farm. The panel discussion will also include directors of 99% The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film, Audrey Ewell and Aaron Aites, and Taiwanese documentary filmmaker Lee Jia-hua.


WHEN: 5/11 (Sun) 4pm
WHERE:Custard Cream 卡市達創業加油站- 武昌街二段122-1號
Wuchang Rd Sec 2, No 122-1 3F

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

2014 Urban Nomad Opens May 9 with 22 feature film premiers, 50+ short films, parties and of course... beer!

We are this psyched! DJ Peanut Butter Wolf in the hip hop doc Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton.
Opening on Friday, May 9, the Urban Nomad Film Fest continues to grow as Taiwan’s largest independent film festival, featuring 30 film programs, more than two dozen Taiwan film premiers, four international director visits, more than 60 local filmmakers as well as panel discussions, parties and related events. International feature documentaries explore art, music, extreme sports, queer culture and other topics. Local filmmakers are featured in seven programs of short films and animation as well as Taiwan’s first music video showcase at a film festival. Urban Nomad will take place at the LUX Cinema, a theater in the heart of Taipei’s movie street from May 9 to 18.

This year, Urban Nomad’s opening film is 99% The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film (2013), a look at the US grass-roots protest movement against corporate greed. Directors Audrey Ewell and Aaron Aites will be in attendance, and they will also present an earlier film on Norway’s extreme heavy metal scene, Until the Light Takes Us (2008), to Taiwanese audiences for the first time.
Opening Film: 99% The Occupy Wall Street
Collaborative Film. Directors will be in attendance.

Other visiting directors include Steve Brown, CEO of the Ignite Channel, who will present his film, Spark: A Burning Man Story, and Daniel Ziv, a Canadian filmmaker, writer and photographer living in Indonesia. Ziv’s film Jalanan won the prize for Best Documentary at the 2013 Pusan Film Festival and is just beginning its tour of international film festivals. Jalanan is a portrait of three street musicians living in the margins of Jakarta.

As Taiwan has recently experienced its own “occupy movement”, Urban Nomad has invited visiting filmmakers Ewell, Aites and Brown to meet local filmmakers at a panel discussion (Sun, May 11) and discuss protests and what it means to document them. Taiwanese filmmakers Lee Jia-hua is head of a collaborative project -- it has some similarities to Ewell and Aite’s recent film -- that aims to document the Sunflower Movement. Brown is now working on a film project called Occupy The Farm, which is a post-Occupy Wall Street movement now taking place near San Francisco. Other panels will look at the start of Taiwan’s anti-China protests, how to become famous as a YouTube filmmaker and techniques in animation. Panels are free to attend and advance registration can be completed online.

The 23 feature films in the program include 22 Taiwan premiers. Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton premiered at last fall’s LA Film Festival and features Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Quest Love and numerous other hip hop artists, who discuss the influence of LA’s independent hip hop label Stones Throw Records. Doc of the Dead just saw its world premier in March at SXSW and looks at zombie culture, interviewing George Romero, Bruce Campbell (Army of Darkness) and The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, as well as lots of zombies. Murder of Couriers is a film about Vancouver bicycle couriers that has won the interest of Taiwan’s fixed gear cycling clubs. More than 30 clubs have come together to support the film’s screening on Friday, May 16, which will be preceded by raffles and followed by a huge group ride.
Doc of the Dead

Monk with a Camera tells the life story of Nicholas Vreeland, the grandson of famed Vogue editor Diana Vreeland who spurned the jet-setting life to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Unhung Hero is a US production partially filmed in Taipei. A comic romp, it visits Taipei's Snake Alley and a local kung fu sect that hangs weights from their male members, while asking the question, does size really matter? A Skate Man by Taiwanese director Jaco Yu looks at Taiwanese skateboarder Wu Meng-long's attempt to break the world record for the greatest distance covered on a longboard in one day -- more than 400km!

Tickets are available at the theater for most screenings. Advance tickets are available through at this link:

Event: Urban Nomad Film Fest
Time: May 9 to 18
Place: Lux Cinema, #85, Sec 2, Wuchang St, Taipei (Ximen)
Tickets: $230 at the cinema / $200 in advance

Drinks on hand at the festival include: Peroni, Grolsch, Erdinger, Hitachino (craft beer from Japan), Chilean red wine, Red Bull and various soft drinks.

Monk with a Camera

Monday, April 21, 2014

2014 Short Film Lineup

The 2014 Urban Nomad Film Fest will again feature local Taiwanese filmmakers in its short films section, . This year more than 300 films applied to the festival, including 10 feature films, 160 short films, 65 animated shorts and 66 music videos. From these applications, we have put together eight short film programs. These include five programs for short films (28 films), two programs for animation (33 films), and the debut of Music Video Sessions, a special program where local bands and music video directors can come together to introduce their works to an audience.

There will be five prizes given to short films, with prize money totalling NT$60,000. The Big Nomad Prize $20,000) will go to the best overall short film. There will also be a Jury Prize (NT$10,000), Best Animation ($10,000), Best Music Video (NT$10,000) and Audience Choice Award ($10,000).

There are special pages for Shorts & Animation and Music Videos, here:

Shorts & Animation:

Music Videos:

And the complete list is as follows:

Opening Party in an Original Red Envelope Club

Urban Nomad is returning to Ximending for the first time in 5 years. This party will pay homage to the neighborhood, mixing a crazy retro vibe with future modern performances. The venue is unique to Ximending, a 60s-style night club. Some of the club’s old-Shanghai-style singers will perform classic songs in satin dresses, then we’ll move on to weird rock, half-naked Japanese avant-garde electronic musicians, and bands and DJs that bridge the gap between the future and the past. The host for the evening will be who else? The ultimate electronic tai-ke showman, Xiao-ying (of the film Cape No. 7) and his band, The Clippers.

Red Envelope Clubs came to Taiwan in 1960s, trying to recreate the glamour of Shanghai nightlife. Now, there are only three such clubs left in Taiwan. They are called Red Envelope Clubs, because customers give red envelopes containing tips to the singers. If you are a good enough tipper, maybe a beautiful Shanghai Rose will share a few drinks with you at your table, or maybe something more.

We will invite several of the original Red Envelope Club singers to perform early in the evening. But this won’t be completely old school. The sound system will be our own, and after 11pm, the music will turn to electronic and avant-garde. So get a taste of old Taiwan, then party like you mean it!

Time:5/10 (六/Sat) 8pm - late
Place:Fenghuang Night Club 鳳凰大歌廳
Add:5F #159 Xining S Rd (台北市西寧南路159號5樓)
Ticket: $600 (Early Bird till 4/20) / $700 (Pre Sale) / $900 (At Door) 1 drink included
Online Ticket Sales:

★★★★ GROUP A (JP) 樂團介紹 ★★★★

Group A are a japanese avant-garde noise music and visual arts group from Tokyo that were formed in 2012. The group comprises Tommi Tokyo (vocal/synthesizer/beat) and Sayaka Botanic (violin/keyboard). Since the group played their first gig at an art gallery opening party in Tokyo, they have been playing gigs non-stop. Their shows consist of avant-garde blow out noise, electronic beats and performance art, such as live painting that is notoriously half-naked.


★★★★ 夾子電動大樂隊 CLIPPERS ★★★★

The Clippers have always been about showmanship. Led by the comedian, performer and actor Xiao-ying (from the film Cape No. 7), they are one of Taiwan’s first bands to self-consciously bring retro-styles into rock. Here, Xiao-ying will prepare a special comedic set of music and comedy. He will also invite one of the regular singers from the Fenghuang Night Club to perform with the band.

Urban Nomad Warmup Block Party on Saturday -- It's free ya'll!!!

Date: 4/26 (Sat)
Time: 5-10pm
Place: LUX Cinema ( No.85, Sec. 2, Wuchang St., Ximen)

Bring some drinks, coz this is a block party!

For this year's Urban Nomad, we want to kick off things with a free outdoor film screening and DJ block party. The film is produced by the Red Bull Music Academy and features Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Erykah Badu, Richie Hawtin, Q-Tip, Lee Scratch Perry and more than 70 other artists talking about musical creativity. Before the film, we invite DJs Zephec and Question Mark to play some music, then Marcus Aurelius will play after. Zephec was part of the the 2007 Red Bull Music Academy in Toronto, and will give an introduction to the film, talking about his experiences. Everybody come and have some fun!

Event Schedule
17:00 - 18:15pm DJ Zephec
18:15 - 19:30pm DJ Question Mark
19:30 - 21:00pm 電影 Film screening
21:00 - 22:00pm DJ Marcus Aurelius

FILM: What Difference Does it Make?
Ralph Schmerberg / 2014 / US, Germany/ 95min/ English/ Chinese subtitles

Featuring Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Erykah Badu, Richie Hawtin, Q-Tip, Lee Scratch Perry and more than 70 other artists, What Difference Does It Make? A Film About Making Music marks the 15th anniversary of the Red Bull Music Academy -- Red Bull's longest running cultural program -- and captures the energy of the 2013 edition in New York. Every year, the academy invites musicians from around the world, allowing accomplished artists to share their experiences with younger counterparts. This film gets to the heart of what it takes to be a musician and, in the process, deals with some of the basic questions of life itself.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

2014 Urban Nomad to return to Ximen

The 2014 Urban Nomad will return to Ximen, holding the festival in the heart of Taipei's film culture at the Lux Cinema on Wuchang St, known to most as simply the "movie street." The festival will be held from May 9 to 18 with a free warm-up event on April 26 or 27.

This will be the first time Urban Nomad holds the entire festival in Ximen and the first time it shows films in the neighborhood known as the home of commercial cinema in Taipei. The last time Urban Nomad was in Ximen was in 2008 and 2009, when it held its opening party at the Paris Night Club, a 1960s-era night club located above the Hoover Cinema (since rebranded as the in89 Cinema). Those parties inspired the first ever "Back to Spin", a lasting series of retro-themed parties popular among Taiwan's rockers. For the last four years, Urban Nomad has held all of its film screenings at the Huashan 1914 Arts District, initially building our own cinema in industrial warehouse spaces and last year moving to the newly SPOT Huashan Cinema, a new addition to the arts district.
James Franco監製的Kink(暫譯:愉瘧性工業)》

In all, this year will feature around two dozen feature films, including international award-winning documentaries and locally produced feature films, a competition for Taiwanese short films, and new competition sections for animation and Taiwanese indie music videos. 

An early list of international films confirmed for this year's festival includes MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS, the tour documentary on the Grammy winning band The National. Pitchfork writes that this is "the funniest, most meta music movie since Spinal Tap" and Michael Moore has called it "one of the best documentaries about a band I've ever seen."

OUR VINYL WEIGHS A TON, a documentary on LA's indie hip hop scene, has been getting rave reviews since its world premier at SXSW earlier this month, enjoyed sold-out screenings at for its theatrical release in LA and is generating tons of excitement. The film focuses on the life and career of DJ Peanut Butter Wolf and his label, Stones Throw Records. The supporting cast is a who’s who of West coast hip hop, including Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, Mike D, Quest Love, Mad Lib, A-Trak, Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, MF Doom, Common and many others. This lineup in it self is a testament to Stones Throw and its enduring contributions to an incredible scene.

Other films we can announce at present include the James Franco produced KINK, a documentary on the world's largest producer of BDSM pornography. When you see ropes, leather or a Sybian and wonder "What the hell are they thinking?" this doc will give you an answer.

Two international docs with Taiwan connections will be included. UNHUNG HERO is a comic doc hosted by stand-up comedian Patrick Moote, somewhat in the tradition of Morgan Spurlock. Moote proposed marriage to his girlfriend on the Jumbotron at a Lakers game, but she rejected him because his penis is too small. This film is his quest to investigate the question, "Does size really matter?" His travels take him to Papua New Guinea, Korea, Las Vegas and Snake Alley in Taipei. He also does some penis weight lifting with the local chi gong sect, the 99 Shen Gong.

Our Vinyl Weights A Ton

Mistaken For Strangers
MONK WITH A CAMERA tells the story of the grandson of legendary Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland. Nicholas Vreeland grew up an international jet-setter and studied under the greatest fashion photographers of his day, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. But at the age of 30, he gave up high society to become a Buddhist monk. He has since become a key figure in popularizing Tibetan Buddhism in the West, editing the writings of Dalai Lama into New York Times best-sellers and becoming the first Western abbot of a Buddhist monastery in 2012. As Taipei is also a hot-spot of Tibetan Buddhism, he visits several times a year and has a sizable local following.

Unhung Hero?

Monk With A Camera

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

2014 Submissions List

Thank you film directors!

We are super busy enjoying your films. While we watch, we have made this public list so that you can confirm that we've received your submissions. The easiest way to find your film on this list is to use the search function: hit CTRL-F, then type the name of your film.

In all we have received over 300 submissions, including a dozen feature films and at least 65 music videos. We will announce the selections in the beginning of April. Until then, thank you for your films and your patience.

 連接 | Here is the link:

Monday, January 20, 2014

New in 2014: Music Video Sessions!

Urban Nomad has been supporting Taiwanese short film since 2002, and now we want to expand on that with a brand new NT$10,000 prize for the Best Taiwanese Indie Music Video. That is why we are creating a new festival section called Music Video Sessions. In addition to giving a cash prize for Taiwan's best indie music video, we will also invite bands and video directors to special Music Video Sessions where they can present and discuss their works in front of an audience. The goal is to support creativity in music and film, and also generate a sense of community between musicians, filmmakers and other creative types. Music Video Sessions is created in partnership with the website, and the $10,000 prize for Best Taiwanese Indie Music Video is donated by the Revolver live house.

Submissions are super easy, especially if your video is already on YouTube or Vimeo. You can make an online submission through the following link:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014 Urban Nomad Film Fest Call For Submissions! Shorts! Features! New Media!


2014 DEADLINE: March 3, 2014
(no submission fee is required)

For the 2014 Urban Nomad Film Fest, we want to work more closely with Taiwan's filmmakers, and also renew the focus of short films to include more types of content and creativity. We believe our short film segment should be more in step with changing times and technologies, because now videos are made by everyone and viewed everywhere. We will of course continue to welcome traditional short films, but in addition we will also expand the short film section to include new media, “YouTube stars” and music videos. Our goal is to present a full spectrum of creativity. So if you are an indie band with a new video, please send it in! If you have your own YouTube channel or are using video on social media, please submit your work! And if you are an indie filmmaker, you are always welcome at Urban Nomad!

In 2014, Urban Nomad's short film competition will have three prizes and total cash awards of NT$40,000. An independent jury will award two prizes, a top prize of NT$20,000 and a second prize of NT$10,000. There is also an Audience Choice Award of $10,000 voted by the viewers.

Short films are defined as 45 minutes or less and:
1) by filmmakers who are residents of Taiwan,
2) films produced in Taiwan, or
3) films with some strong connection to Taiwan.

There are no restrictions on nationality. Urban Nomad has the right to decide all questions of eligibility for competitions.

If you have a feature length film, or are not a Taiwanese director, we absolutely welcome you! Promoting Taiwanese films is a priority for Urban Nomad. We have screened Taiwan features in each of the last three years to sold-out audiences, introducing films like Taiwan Oyster, Godspeed Taiwan and Voices in the Clouds to local audiences. We are mainly interested in hosting Taiwan premiers of new films. If you have a new feature film, please feel free to contact us. We will work hard to help launch your film and are happy to coordinate with your plans for marketing and promotion.

Urban Nomad also welcomes international submissions for both shorts and feature-length films. We have these in our program every year, and we annually support international director visits and film screenings. If you are an overseas film director, producer or film agent and have any questions, feel free to contact us.

If you are planning to submit a feature film (longer than 45min), we suggest that you submit as early as possible, or else contact us by email with details about your film. The deadline for feature-length films is the same as for short films (March 3, 2014), but planning for the feature film programs begins much earlier, so submitting in January or February will give you a big advantage.

In addition to the chance to win cash prizes, film directors gain access to Urban Nomad events including screenings, parties, discussions and other events. Your film will be listed in our annual catalog, on our website and publicity materials. It will also be seen by hundreds or possibly thousands of people in at least three cities in Taiwan.


Urban Nomad Film Fest
3F, #6, Lane 6, Sec. 1, Hangzhou South Rd, Taipei


 - Deadlines are for RECEIVING films (not mailing films).
 - Short films must be 45 minutes or less
 - We accept submissions of both short films and feature length films
 - Films under 15 minutes stand a greater chance of getting accepted.
 - It is an advantage if your film has both Chinese and English. Ideally, Chinese language films should have English subtitles, and all other films should have Chinese subtitles.
 - Year of production must be 2012 or later
 - Do not submit the same film you submitted in previous years.
 - Each film should be on its own, separate DVD.
 - You can send more than one DVD (and application form) per package.
 - You must include one application form for every film you submit.
 - If your film is selected, will try to screen it in a high quality format, such as HD digital file. For submissions, we request DVD, .mov or .mpg mainly for convenience of previewing. It is fine to send HD quality .mov or .mpg files.

urbannomadfilmfest *at* gmail *dot* com