HAF Work-in-Progress Film ‘Salli’ From Taiwan and France Explores the World of Online Romance

HAF Work-in-Progress Film ‘Salli’ From Taiwan and France Explores the World of Online Romance

March 14, 2023

Taiwan-France film “Salli” marks the feature debut of Taipei-based filmmaker Lien Chien-Hung after several acclaimed shorts and a TV movie.

“Salli,” which won the grand prize at the Chinese-language film project matching and co-production platform Golden Horse Film Project Promotion in 2019, is a work-in-progress selection at the Hong Kong — Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF). The Mandarin-, Taiwanese-, English- and French-language film follows a lonely middle-aged chicken farmer Hui-Chun, who doesn’t speak English and develops a romantic relationship through an app with a French man who calls himself Martin. In the online world, Hui-Chun is Salli. Despite everyone calling it a romance scam, she wants to prove that love indeed exists.

“The reason why I want to make ‘Salli’ is because of very common news in Taiwan. Many men and women are deceived by love on the internet,” Lien tells Variety. “As bystanders, we always laugh at why these people are so stupid. How can they believe in love on the internet? But I reflected, is there something wrong with these people who believe in love? They just want to be loved. So I started Salli’s story.

“What I want to say through ‘Salli’ is that everyone longs to love and to be loved, but don’t get lost in the search for love and forget that, most of all, you have to love yourself first,” Lien adds.

“Salli” is produced by Lee Lieh (“Detention”), Dennis Wu (“The Post-Truth World”), Amanda Tseng Man-Yin (“The Forest”) and Uilin Ong (“The Silent Forest”) and production companies include ENLA Media, the Graduate Co. and Bole Film.

“Salli’s story is universal and resonates with my own journey as a Taiwanese woman. I love director Lien’s humor and talent from his previous work and that’s all part of the reasons we started to work on ‘Salli’ together from the very beginning five years ago,” Tseng says.

The film is budgeted at $1.2 million of which $1.1 million has been secured.

“We hope to find international sales and distribution partners at HAF, as well as festival screening opportunities. We are also excited to get to know filmmakers for future collaboration opportunities,” Tseng says.

There are plans to release “Salli” in Taiwan this year.

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