Singapore-born filmmaker's documentary to premiere at Sundance after 26 years

Nurul Azliah
Senior Lifestyle Reporter
The 2017 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. (Photo: AP)

Singapore-born filmmaker Sandi Tan will be heading to Utah, USA, in January 2018 for the world premiere of her long overdue documentary “Shirkers” at the Sundance Film Festival.

The documentary is an indie road movie produced by and starring the then 18-year-old Tan in Singapore in 1992. However, sometime after the filming was complete, the footage “vanished” along with American cinematographer Georges Cardona, who was in town to teach a film class, according to a 2002 interview with the now-defunct magazine BigO.

Tan, who is currently living in California, had described the film as one about “teen angst and murder”, featuring locations such as Sembawang and Bukit Timah. It was shot over 60 days, the interview said, adding that Tan had left Singapore in 2001 with husband John Powers from the newspaper LA Weekly.

“Shirkers” will compete with 11 other entries in the World Cinema Documentary Competition as part of the festival. Other entries include “Of Fathers and Sons”, which is about Osama bin Laden and his brother Ayman, and “The Oslo Diaries”, which centres around an illegal meeting between Palestinians and Israelis in 1992.

Previously, Tan also produced a short film entitled “Gourmet Baby” in 2001, which featured local actor Lim Kay Tong and actress Carla Dunareanu. As an author, she published the novel “The Black Isle” in 2012.

Here’s a look back at “Gourmet Baby”:

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