In the early '90s, Taiwan saw an unprecedented boom of documentary films made by indigenous filmmakers. We have selected 14 important films of the period that is considered the first wave of indigenous cinema in Taiwan.


The '90s were exciting times for indigenous filmmakers in Taiwan who set out to capture authentic stories of their own communities with a camera in hand, shining a new light on a previously ignored part of Taiwanese society. An auspicious social climate coupled with fast technological development and general availability of modern equipment resulted in the ideal conditions for explosions of creative energy that had been brewing under the surface for ages, hiding deep within the filmmakers' souls. All films in this selection were presented in the festival section “Indigenous with Capital ‘I’” at Taiwan IDF 2021.

This selection of key films made between 1994 and 2000 includes films made by students of film academies, journalists or authors who became interested in documentary filmmaking through local film courses and training camps. We set out to explore their key ideas, different points of view, unique aesthetics and cinematic sources of inspiration.

Learn about the everyday life of indigenous population and discover their joys and sorrows, their cultural customs, traditions and myths. The stories in our film selection paint a multi-layered image of the contemporary Taiwanese society.

All the above-mentioned films are available for free until August 30, 2021.

In cooperation with

  • Taiwan_Docs
  • TIDF_21 is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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