New faculty member Weiko Lin, assistant professor in Visual and Media Arts, is in China this week to represent his film at the Hundred Flowers Film Festival and Golden Rooster Awards, which he described as “China’s version of the Oscars.”
Lin was the head writer of 100 Days, a Taiwanese romantic comedy directed by Henry Chan, whose credits include Moesha, Living Single, and Archie Bunker’s Place. The Mandarin Chinese-language movie had a successful run in Taiwan when it was released there last year.
“I’ve always written for the American industry,” Lin said. “It’s quite special to have this homecoming, doing a movie in my home country and having it accepted in a global way.”
Lin, who immigrated to the United States at age 8, wrote 100 Days after returning to Taiwan seven years ago due to his mother’s death—and learning about an interesting cultural tradition.
“When I went back home to bring her ashes back…I learned about this tradition…that you have 100 days to get married if your parents pass away,” Lin said.
Having the parents’ spirits transition peacefully is the rationale behind the custom.
In 100 Days, the main character returns to his home village after the passing of his mother and is stranded by a typhoon. He then reunites with his high school sweetheart, only to learn she is already engaged.
Lin said the Hundred Flowers and Golden Rooster is part film festival and part awards show, which is why it is compared to the Oscars.
“We’re not nominated for an award,” he said. “But they pick high-quality films to be part of the festival.”
Lin said working with Chan “was just a dream.”
“When I brought him the script…he dropped everything,” Lin said. “We had always talked about wanting to do something in Chinese, and this was before the China [entertainment] market exploded.”
Lin, who comes to Emerson from the University of California Los Angeles, and who previously taught at Northwestern University, was the head writer of the Huading Global Film Awards in Hollywood, hosted by Lucy Liu earlier this year.