An audience of 500 packed the Edwards Alhambra Renaissance Stadium on Oct. 18 for a screening of "Kano," a film about a Taiwanese baseball team that travels to Japan in 1931 to compete in a national tournament, World Journal (世界日報) reports. A classic underdog story, the Kano team comes from a mixed-race high school in Southern Taiwan — a region under Japanese rule at the time — and has to overcome ethnic differences and work together to win the competition.
Fans stayed after the film for a Q&A with director, producer, and co-writer Wei Te-sheng, who also directed "Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale" and "Cape No.7." Wei said he was happy to hold the screening in Southern California and see the film so well received, according to World Journal.
Fan George Ye, who studied in the U.S., was excited to see Taiwanese stories on film. “We haven’t seen any Taiwanese movies for a long time. We hope to show our support to Taiwan by attending this event and appreciating the movie,” Ye told World Journal at the screening.
The film received six Golden Horse Awards nominations this year — nods from Asia’s prestigious film festival in Taipei — including Best Feature Film and Best Actor. When asked how he felt about the nominations, Wei told World Journal, “I don’t make films with the intention of getting awards. I just want to share good stories. To me, a film award ceremony is simply a gathering for people to chat and have fun. I don’t expect too much from it.”
Wei told World Journal that "Kano" was inspired by his interest in 1930s Taiwanese history. The filmmaker believes the spirit of the film is the idea of teamwork, and told the Chinese publication that it can also be applied in a broader perspective to what Taiwan needs moving forward.
A version of this article was originally published in World Journal. This story was translated from Chinese to English by a volunteer translator. If you notice a mistake in translation, please email our editors at [email protected]