LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN, a feature-length documentary, examines of one of the longest running summer programs in the world. LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN revisits the program's participants and explores the history and popularity of this well-known trip, sponsored by the Republic of China (Taiwan) government, which takes place every summer in Taiwan. Despite its high-minded aspirations that include classes in Mandarin-language study, martial arts, and brush painting, the program’s popularity stems from another source: its reputation as an excellent place for college-aged overseas Chinese and Taiwanese Americans to hook up and find romance. For this reason—even though it does not take place on a ship, but at a conference center in Taipei—the program is more commonly known by its romantic nickname—the Taiwan Love Boat.
The Love Boat has a rich history, and many famous alumni have passed through the program over the years, including US Congresswoman Judy Chu, buzzfeed’s Justin Tan, and singer Wang Lee Hom. Although it started out in 1967 as a small cultural program, over the years the Love Boat eventually became harder to gain entry into than many colleges.
LOVE BOAT: TAIWAN explores the ways that the government of Taiwan used this unique “soft power” program to promote Taiwan around the world, and how it permanently affected the lives of many Asian Americans.