7-10 OCTOBER 2023
Asian Project Market

2023 Project

Mr. Tiger Director HSU Chao-Jen Country/Region Taiwan
  • Producer Stefano CENTINI, CHANG Chuti, CHOI Kwang-suk
  • Production Company Volos Films Ltd., Rediron Films Ltd.
  • Writer HSU Chao-Jen
  • Shooting Format 4K  |  color  |  110min
  • Genre Drama
  • Project Status Script Development, Financing
  • Goals at APM Financing, Co-production, Pre-sales, Distribution, International Sales, Festival Contact
  • Total Budget USD 2,000,000
  • Financing in Place USD 200,000


A tiger hides in the city. A-Niu strives to find it a home. Eventually, he transforms into a tiger, but ultimately must let go of the tiger’s heart.


A-Niu, an immigrant from Southeast Asia, travels to Taiwan with his father in order to take care of a circus, but overwhelming debts ultimately force him to naturalize in Taiwan and join the military. Unable to communicate effectively, he is seen as a slacker. During the Chinese New Year break, he is punished with restricted leave and must train to perform the lion dance at a celebration banquet to earn extra money, all while receiving bad news from home. Helpless, A-Niu diligently continues learning the lion dance and offering prayers.
Time has passed. As A-Niu stands atop a pickup truck protesting; he delivers a speech in his thick accent, and although the audience below cannot understand him fully, they cheer along nonetheless. Yet, the faint growl of a tiger can be heard in the background; a feeble sound devoid of strength.
One day the tiger finally sees the daylight, but is still confined in a cage, hung upside down or bound to nearby iron pillars. A-Niu′s voice reaches its ears: “Remember where home is. When you see humans, run!”
Time has passed, and A-Niu returns home, puts his daughter on his shoulders, and thinks of the swaying motion of the lion dance.

Director's Statement

Through black humor and flashbacks, I want to take the audience on a journey into Taiwan’s past and use ellipses to show the bewildering scenarios that arise from cultural clashes even in the pursuit of a simple existence.
A-Niu finds his identity in street protests as Taiwan begins to open up to democracy. The uncertain destiny of his circus tiger, entwined with his own, personal journey of discovery, becomes a mirror in which present Taiwanese identity is revealed.
Amidst awakening consciousness over land and human rights, a surreal melody emerges from the fabric of realism, where the passage of time engulfs lost dreams, leaving behind the enchantments of childhood fantasies.

Producer's Statement

The film combines real events with Taiwanese writer Wu Ming-yi’s short novel, Grandfather Tiger; using magical realism and black humor to create a historical tale which will resonate with audiences and stir their emotions, empathizing with the characters and depicting a crucial time in Taiwanese history through the coming-of-age story of its protagonist.
We believe Hsu Chao-Jen, one of the most successful drama directors in Taiwan, is the best companion for Wu Ming-yi’s narrative, deeply rooted in everyday Taiwanese life, and with his bittersweet approach to life and cinema, we hope Hsu will create a unique dramatic depiction of Taiwanese culture and bring to life Wu Ming-yi’s characters in a cinematic universe.

Director's Profile


Hsu Chao-Jen is a director and screenwriter active on the Taiwanese film and TV scene since the 2000s. His first feature film, In the Air (2003), won Best Director and Best TV Movie at the Golden Bell Awards 2003. His next film, Together (2012), was selected in the New Currents section at Busan International Film Festival 2012 and the Forum program at Berlin International Film Festival 2013. Through detailed depictions of events and surroundings, his films pay close attention to the nuanced emotions of his characters.

Producer's Profile

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Stefano Centini graduated from Centro Sperimentale Di Cinematografia Sede Lombardia. He produced several short and feature films, including short, Nia′s Door (Lau Kek Huat, 2015), which won the Sonje Award at Busan International Film Festival 2015; and feature documentary Absent Without Leave (Lau Kek Huat, 2016), which won the Audience Choice Award at Singapore International Film Festival 2016. He is a member of EAVE and an alumnus of Berlinale Talents Tokyo.

Chang Chuti graduated from Aix-en-Provence University, and since 2001 has served as an international coordinator and producer for founder Hou Hsiao-hsien′s 3H Productions. She produced Missing Johnny (Huang Xi, 2017), for which she was named Young Producer of the Year at the Chinese Young Generation Film Forum 2017; and later with Volos Films worked as a producer on The Human Surge 3 (Eduardo Williams, 2023), which was selected in competition at Locarno Film Festival 2023.

Korean producer Choi Kwang-suk has collaborated with director Zhang Meng on films such as Lucky Dog (Zhang Meng, 2008) and The Piano in a Factory (Zhang Meng, 2010), both of which received recognition at various international film festivals. He established a cinema factory in Jeonju in 2000 with the primary goal of offering a stable production environment.