The Urban Nomad Film Festival is back in Taipei! This year’s theme is ocean conservation and the festival (which starts tonight and runs until May 8) is hosting the Taiwanese premieres of “The Cove” and “Sharkwater,” as well as guest speakers and a panel discussion by several environmental groups. There are also a lot of other documentaries on a wide variety of subjects (ranging from the Gaza Strip to copyright issues and music sampling) and short films by a mix of Taiwanese and foreign filmmakers. For more information about the history of the festival and this year’s films, please see my article (html link here) or get a complete schedule and order tickets at the Urban Nomad blog.

Last week I interviewed Ric O’Barry, the dolphin welfare activist who is the “star” of “The Cove” (html link or parts 1 and 2 of the PDF) about his work, the “media blackout” on whaling and dolphins that he claims is going on in Japan and the criticisms of cultural imperialism and ethnocentrism that have been leveled against his activism (and “The Cove”). POTS (破), an alternative weekly, did their own long-distance interview with O’Barry just before I talked to him; here is their article.

Urban Nomad will also be screening in Hsinchu and Taichung this year. I highly recommend it. This is my second year of reporting about Urban Nomad and I’ve always been impressed with the amount of thought that goes into the curating of each year’s line up.