Taiwan to air first gay family comedy

Public Television Service will tomorrow show 'Penguins at North Pole', where a mother’s attempt to change her lesbian daughter brings some difficult choices

Taiwan to air first gay family comedy
14 March 2014

Gone are the days when gay-themed movies or TV series in Taiwan nearly all ended as sadly as ‘Crystal Boys‘ or ‘Eternal Summer‘.

Tomorrow night (March 16), public service broadcaster PTS will air ‘Penguins at North Pole’, a 30-minute short that is billed as the first gay family light comedy there.

The ultimate wish of Helen’s mom – played by actress Tan Aizhen whose daughter is bisexual – is to see her only daughter walk down the aisle with a perfect man and have a bun in the oven.

The single mother suspects Helen is seeing someone, but gets nothing out of her daughter’s mouth. She cannot help but sneak into Helen’s Facebook account for a peek – only to find out her future ‘son-in-law’ will probably be a woman.

Following the discovery, Helen’s mom decides to appear open-minded about the lesbian relationship. But her real game plan, fruitless as it may sound, is to gain Helen’s trust first, and then change the girl’s mind, step by step.

‘We want to make a movie for moms and dads [with gay children] to show in a light-hearted but easily understandable way that they are not alone,’ said the movie’s production crew.

‘This is like a long road where parents and children get to know each other all over again,’ they added. ‘There are indeed many who share some common worries.’

Their ideals won them the financial support of PTS, the Kaohsiung Film Archive, as well as 214 gay and straight crowd-funders, who contributed some NT$285,000 ($9400, €6780).

While the coincidental overlap of the movie’s broadcast and a kiss-in for gay marriage in Taipei scheduled for Sunday is indeed beyond their control, the film crew told Gay Star News: ‘our stance on legislation is crystal clear in the movie.’

‘Everyone’s welcome to see it,’ said the team, who are looking to bring ‘Penguins at North Pole’ to film festivals around the world.

Watch the trailer of the movie below:

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