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Hualien District Office’s documentary wins award at Best Shorts Competition in USA


Treasure in the Clouds – Remembering Halun, a documentary commissioned by the Hualien District Office, Forestry Bureau, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, produced by Vision Way Communication Co., Ltd., and directed by Yen Wen-ju and Chang Yuan-yu, received the honorable Award of Merit: Special Mention at the Best Shorts Competition (USA).

Director of the district office Wu Kun-ming noted that this 2016 documentary is an important work which not only explores Taiwan’s forestry development but also ruminates over forestry’s future. The film was published alongside Endless Discovery 1922: 100 Years of Forestry in Halun, a book written by professor of National Dong Hwa University Wang Hurng-jyuhn and his research team.

After logging in the forest area stopped for 26 years, the filming team and the research team arrived the Halun Ranger Station in the Mugua Mountain Working Circle at about 2,000 meters above the sea level. The making of the film took 18 months, during which the teams visited three ropeways, Dajing Railway, the old Mugua Station and Halun Ranger Station. It took the teams roughly 20 days to finish all the tasks although these places could be reached in just one day before. From mountain areas to Taipei City, Hualien City, Shoufeng Township and Fenglin Township, the teams visited elders who worked for Halun before, and acquired a vast number of historical archival images around the world. Along with the newly made 3,800 images, a total of 43 hours of footage was finally edited into one film, upon a careful selection process. The documentary takes a modern industry viewpoint to review early workers’ past, leading spectators to immerse in the endless charm of Halun through time travel.

Halun was ruled by Japanese officers and county government, before being taken over by the Mugua District Office. Now, it is under the administration of Hualien District Office. Halun is the lifeline of Hualien’s forestry industry. It is also an epitome of this industry which went through vicissitudes.

Cutting down, collecting, transporting and planting of trees was central to Halun’s work and life. Forest workers with all kinds of expertise spent their days on wood production. Depends on the days, they were happy, worried or sad. In the end, as forestry policies changed and the government aimed to operate the forest areas more diversely, logging came to a total end. The closing of Halun marked the end of an era. But the afforestation effort is still effective – the trees keep growing in the mountains today. Chihnan Nature Center’s environment education advocacy further shows that the forestry spirit is being pass downed and contemplated, in the age of sustainable management.

Rick Prickett, director of the Best Shorts Competition, noted, “Best Shorts is not an easy award to win. Entries are received from around the world from powerhouse companies to remarkable new talent.” The awards acknowledge the artistic values and creative achievements made by the contestants in the fields of film, television, video art and new media art. All of the judges are acclaimed professionals from around the world, mainly in the fields of film and television. Previous award winners include Market Hours by The Weinstein Company, Vinylmation: A Love Story by Disney Interactive, and Mr. Hublot by oscar-winning Laurent Witz.

Again, the entries of the Best Shorts Competition come from around the world. According to expertise and creativity, the judges select outstanding works of high quality and value, and are much satisfied with how excellent this year’s entries are. In fact, the goal of Best Shorts is to help all producing talents and winners gain the recognition and praises they deserve.

Treasure in the Clouds – Remembering Halun tells a remarkable story through precious images. For this film, the Bureau’s Hualien District Office and Vision Way Communication Co., Ltd. received the honorable Special Mention Prize at the Best Shorts Competition (USA). This film is a detailed record of the forestry development of Hualien, Taiwan. It shows that the country’s forestry policies are in line with the world’s conservation trends. It invites Taiwan’s public to contribute to, reflect on and learn about conserving the country’s beautiful nature more.

Please feel free to call us at 03-8325141#271 if you would like to know more about Treasure in the Clouds – Remembering Halun, our documentary short, or visit the Forestry Bureau’s Hualien District Office site at http://hualien.forest.gov.tw/ and the film’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/haluns100/?ref=bookmarks.h0.

To learn about the winners of the Best Shorts Competition and their works, as well as other related info, please visit http://bestshorts.net/past-winners/award-of-merit-november-2016/.

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