Lin Pins Hopes on 'Starry Night'

The Taiwan director caused a stir among Chinese media at the New Currents presentation.

BUSAN, South Korea -- If this year’s New Currents competition has a name, that name is Tom Shu-yu Lin

The Starry Starry Night helmer garnered the most attention at Monday’s press event for the 13 participating directors. A BIFF mainstay, the New Currents section showcases world and international premieres by up and coming Asian directors. 

Born in Taiwan and raised and educated in the U.S., Lin cut his cinematic teeth with some of the island’s top film talent, namely working as a first assistant director with 2010 BIFF Asian Filmmaker of the Year Tsai Ming-liang and Doze Niu (Monga). His 2008 short Winds of September got some festival attention, but disappointed one person: its director.

“I needed more time to learn and work on my craft,” Lin said. That sent Lin back to the drawing board before being approached by Taiwan author and illustrator Jimmy Liao to create a film version of his book, The Starry, Starry Night

In turn, Liao had been in touch with China studio Huayi Brothers, which saw the potential for the teenage coming of age story to resonate with audiences in Greater China and other parts of Asia. The result is one of the first Taiwan-China co-productions, shot with a budget of $7 million.

Lin said that he finished the film’s editing just in time for its Monday afternoon screening at BIFF. Night will be released in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia on Nov. 3, according to Huayi Brothers.