Convocation 2014’s global citizens: Meet Betty Xie
When Betty Xie and her small film crew of U of T students travelled to Taiwan in 2012 to make an election documentary, they thought the politics would be simple — voters who identified as Chinese would support the Koumingtang, voters who identified as Taiwanese would support the Democratic Progressive Party.
However, Xie discovered that things weren’t quite that simple. Through interviews with scholars, students, and voters they realized that there was a wide spectrum of opinions that fell between the two extremes, revealing the complexity of cross-strait relations.
The documentary that she produced, Untag Taiwan, has received critical acclaim, and Xie, who grew up in Richmond, BC before coming to U of T to take a double major in Cinema Studies and Asia Pacific Studies, is now working on a second film. While set in Taiwan again, her new project is not about politics.
“It’s called The Home Promised,” she says, “and it is a documentary about a small neighbourhood on the brink of demolition in Taipei city. Our crew is made up of current U of T students and new grads. We expect to finish the film by the end of the summer and catch on a film festival ride.”
After convocation, Xie will be joining the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival’s programming committee. She says she wants to continue to work in the film industry, but not necessarily making documentaries.
- The Dean’s International Initiatives Fund (DIIF) was created specifically for people like Xie. The fund provides financial support to students who put forward their own ideas for an activity that meets their academic goals. Successful proposals receive up to $10,000 to support travel and research costs.
- Five to watch: Convocation 2014’s global citizens
U of T News | June 9, 2014