Born in 1980, Chan Ching Lin is a filmmaker whose work pays close attention to the poor and underprivileged in Taiwan. His film, A Breath from the Bottom (2012), won Best Director at Taipei Film Festival 2013, was nominated for Best Short Film at the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2013, and was selected at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2013. Set against the background of Taiwan′s national highways, his first feature, The Island that All Flow By (2016), which exquisitely describes people’s struggles under capitalism, was nominated for Best New Director at both the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival 2017 and FIRST International Film Festival Xining 2017. His upcoming film, centering on the peculiar cultural economic activity in Taiwan of pigeon racing, will focus on people who are disadvantaged, and subsequently explore the everlasting question of, and struggle with, national identity among the Taiwanese.
Lin I-ling graduated from the National Taiwan University Department of Finance. With over 14 years in film, Lin has accumulated a complete training and extensive experience of all aspects of the film industry, from project development, production and distribution to marketing and acquisition. Since 2011, she has dedicated herself to production and project development. Her filmography includes international co-productions such as National Geographic TV documentaries The Pigeon Game (2005) and Megacities: Taipei (2007), and feature film X+Y (Morgan Matthews, 2015); Chinese co-productions Love in Disguise (Wang Leehom, 2010) and Didi’s Dreams (Cai Kangyong, 2017); and Taiwanese productions GF*BF (Yang Ya-Che, 2012) and Zinnia Flower (Tom Shu-Yu Lin, 2015).
The sound of wings reverberates through the air. In murky half-light, race pigeon 043, once bred with a family’s hopes and dreams, returns after seven years.
043 wasn’t the only one not to come back seven years ago; the other being 8th-grader, Ernie, who vanished on his way to school. Ernie’s disappearance is a permanent wound in Pigeon Master Ching’s heart. The family’s barely-maintained peace is shattered by 043’s return.
One day, Ching’s daughter, Lulu, brings home a beaten-up boy named Tig. Reluctantly at first, Ching begins to see a little of Ernie in Tig; after all, breeding pigeons together with his son had been his biggest wish.
But wild pigeons can’t change their ways. Lulu makes an excuse to leave and never comes back. His wife, Ming is also tempted to leave – and stealthily begins proceedings to have Ernie declared legally dead, even if it will enrage her husband.
Thunder booms from afar. A typhoon is on the horizon. Grandpa’s death is the last straw that breaks the family’s back. Ching wants to give up; to stop racing altogether. He tells Tig to leave and further humiliates him for being a pigeon-netter. After all, Tig is no Ernie! He’s just an outsider!
In the aftershock of the storm, Ching calls to re-start proceedings regarding Ernie’s death, having discovered that 043, secretly tended to by Tig, has laid two eggs. Hopes of raising them for next season’s race resurface, to Ching’s own surprise. He calls Tig.
The roadside where Tig’s body lies is made incongruous by the sound of the ring tone of his phone.