Local film-maker Kirsten Tan’s debut feature-film Pop Aye has been selected to be Singapore’s submission for the Foreign Language Film category of the 90th Academy Awards. Photo: Giraffe Pictures
SINGAPORE – Local film-maker Kirsten Tan’s debut feature Pop Aye has been selected to be Singapore’s submission for the Foreign Language Film category at the 90th Academy Awards.
The film was selected for the Oscars, the most prestigious annual awards in the American film industry, by the Singapore Film Commission (SFC), which is part of Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).
SFC director Joachim Ng said: “Pop Aye is a story of self-discovery, beautifully told by a Singapore team, including director-writer Kirsten Tan, producers Lai Weijie and Huang Wenhong, and executive producer Anthony Chen.
“The film has resonated with audiences both at home and internationally. We are proud to submit it for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards 2018, and hope that more audiences will get acquainted with quality works by Singaporean filmmakers.”
Set entirely in Thailand, the film stars veteran Thai singer-songwriter Thaneth Warakulnukroh as a down and out architect who is reunited with his childhood elephant played by Bong, the elephant from Surin, Thailand, and embarks on a road trip across the Thai countryside in search of their old home.
“I feel incredibly honoured and proud to be Singapore’s entry to the Academy Awards with POP AYE. Love it or doubt it, every filmmaker in the world pays attention to the Oscars – to have a shot at representing Singapore with my debut feature feels to me, a powerful and humbling experience,” said director Kirsten Tan from Adelaide, Australia where she is attending OzAsia Film Festival and where POP AYE will also be opening the festival.
“With Bong the elephant as our lucky charm, I can’t wait to see how far he would take us through the Oscar race,” she added.
Pop Aye already made a splash in the US earlier this year. Tan became the first Singaporean to win an award at the celebrated Sundance Film Festival in January when the film took home the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Screenwriting.
Tan’s film follows in the footsteps of Ilo Ilo by Anthony Chen, Seven Letters, the omnibus film by Boo Junfeng, Eric Khoo, Jack Neo, K Rajagopal, Tan Pin Pin, Royston Tan and Kelvin Tong, and Apprentice by Boo Junfeng.
The film is pending eligibility approval by the Academy.
POP AYE also just opened theatrically in Taiwan after releases in North America, France, The Netherlands, Singapore and Thailand. The film will next screen at Zurich Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival, and Tokyo International Film Festival.
The film has so far been screened at 30 international film festivals and received four awards including the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Screenwriting at Sundance Film Festival and the VPRO Big Screen Award at International Film Festival Rotterdam.
In Singapore, POP AYE will be starting a second theatrical run from Sep 30 at The Projector.
Source: Today Online