Taroko N. P. HQ Forests of Taroko documentary wins Platinum medal at the 53rd WorldFest-Houston
Taroko National Park Headquarters’ Forests of Taroko documentary wins Platinum medal at the 53rd WorldFest-Houston
Taroko National Park Headquarters’ ecological documentary Forests of Taroko – A Documentary on the Forest Ecology of Taroko won a Platinum Award at the 53rd WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, the highest accolade in the documentary category.
Forests of Taroko was filmed and produced by director Liao Tung Kun and commissioned by Taroko National Park Headquarters. Guided by the personal experiences and observations of Pitayru Ukah from the indigenous Truku Tribe, the documentary delves deep into the forests of Taroko National Park. Not only does Pitayru Ukah showcase the rich biodiversity of the Taroko forests, but he also reveals the wisdom of the Truku tribe and their symbiotic relationship with the mountains and woodlands.
According to the Taroko National Park Headquarters, the majority of Taroko National Park is covered by native forests at both low and high altitudes, its coverage influenced by the steep terrain of mountains and valleys, and home to many rare and endemic species. Although seemingly still and serene, the mysterious forest is full of vitality that constantly serves as a stage for thrilling anecdotes.
During the course of the documentary production, which took about three years to complete, director Liao recorded an abundance of precious footage within the mountains and forests of Taroko National Park. For example, one of his scenes captured the cooperative breeding ecology of the Taiwan yuhina, one of less than 20 avian species in the world that adopt such complex joint nesting strategies. The same clip highlights a unique symbiotic relationship between the petite and nimble Fire-breasted Flowerpecker bird and the surrounding parasitic plants. Director Liao was even more fortunate in capturing footage of black eagles, which have wings spanning nearly 180 cm, and civet cats that have rarely been seen. These animals all play a role in the integrity of the dynamic forest ecosystem. Moreover, the documentary showcases a broad spectrum of content spanning from the forests’ ever-changing weather across the seasons, including typhoons that strongly influence forest dynamics, to the spiritual beliefs and culture of the Taroko tribe. It highlights the endemic plants that thrive on limestone cliffs in steep canyons as well as highlighting the geographic isolation of the high mountains and deep valleys that resulted in the allopatric speciation of many endemic species. Director Liao emphasized that the richness of the forest ecology of Taroko National Park is beyond our wildest imaginations, and there is still much in the forest that remains unknown.
The director of Taroko National Park Headquarters, Yu Teng-Lang, commented that not only did this documentary broadened our horizons and let us see the forests in a new light, but it also highlighted the importance of large-scale biological and ecological conservation in Taiwan’s national parks.
Forests of Taroko is available in both English and Chinese, and is currently broadcasted daily in the briefing room of the Taroko National Park Headquarters Visitor Center, which also accepts large-group bookings. The documentary has also been uploaded to YouTube to be freely watched online. It is furthermore available in DVD format, which can be purchased in the Government Publications Bookstore.
News issued by Taroko National Park Headquarters
Translated by TJ Young