Valerie Soe, a professor of Asian American Studies at the San Francisco State University, has launched an Indiegogo independent documentary film campaign that will look into one of Taiwan’s global longest-running summer program titled as “Love Boat: Taiwan.”
The aim of this feature-length documentary is to revisit the program and its past participants as well as explore the history of the Overseas Compatriot Youth Formosa Study Tour to Taiwan program, informally known as the Love Boat.
The Study Tour to Taiwan program started in 1967 where, at the time, it attracted about 60 participants coming from the United States and Canada. As the years passed by, the number continues to grow and by the time the program reached its peak in the 1990s – 2000s there had already been about 1,200 participants joining every summer.
“Since its inception the Love Boat has served three purposes: as a diplomatic tool for the Taiwanese government, as a place for young Taiwanese Americans to find romance, and as a means for Taiwanese American parents to insure the preservation of Taiwanese bloodlines,” the documentary’s Facebook page wrote in its story.
This program offers several lessons that reconnects young Taiwanese-Americans and Chinese-Americans to their Chinese roots such as Mandarin lessons and studies in Chinese culture.
However, the Study Tour to Taiwan also acts as a bridge to connect young, College-aged Asian Americans together in their journey during the program, which gave the name “Love Boat” to the program.
“Although officially described as a straightforward cultural and language-immersion program, the Love Boat is also a means of promoting international relations between Taiwan and Taiwanese Americans as well as a site for romance, friendship, and personal relationships that transcend national borders, governmental policy, and cultural traditions,” the documentary film continued in its Facebook story.
“By exploring some of the Love Boat’s significant relationships, ‘Love Boat: Taiwan’ explores the ways in which the Love Boat gives its participants a taste of global politics on an intimate scale.”
Aside from the focus on the intimate side of the Love Boat, the documentary also hopes to shine light on the Taiwanese-American community’s history and culture, as well as give voice to the Taiwanese Experience, “emphasizing the transnational ties and commonalities that shape Taiwanese identity in Taiwan and in the US,” Soe wrote in Indiegogo.
Soe, who is also the director and producer of “Love Boat: Taiwan,” plans to release the feature-length documentary sometime next year with January 2019 as its target time frame.
If you’re excited to watch Soe’s independent documentary film “Love Boat: Taiwan,” please support her fundraising goal here.
Featured image screenshot via Vimeo / valerie soe