Documentary Shirkers

Friday, April 13, 2018
6:00 p.m.

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Saturday, April 14, 2018
5:00 p.m.

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Sunday, April 15, 2018
5:30 p.m.
YBCA Screening Room



Guests Expected

Director Sandi Tan expected to attend all screenings.


"When I was 18, I had so many ideas," reflects Sandi Tan in this buoyant personal documentary. 25 years ago, Tan and two cinephile friends made a film in Singapore, but the reels disappeared, along with a mysterious man named Georges Cardona who had been acting as the project's mentor. Recently, the footage was found, which prompts this constantly surprising and reflective film about movie love, female friendship, and the urge for creative expression. Winner of the Directing Award, World Cinema Documentary, at Sundance.

"An absolute highlight of this year’s fest, Sandi Tan’s remarkable feature is the best bargain, for you’re treated to a making-of film, a historic look at a lost Singapore, a film-theft mystery, a coming-of-age tale, a revival of punk rock aesthetic, and the recontextualization of a piece of youth-driven outsider art. Above all, this is Tan’s deliciously self-effacing look back at the follies and triumphs of her youth when she and two equally remarkable young women helped reshape the cinema of their nation only to have their work hidden for decades." – Jason Gorber, POV Magazine

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Director Sandi Tan

Sandi Tan founded a zine, The Exploding Cat, at 16. At 22, she became the film critic at The Straits Times, Singapore’s largest newspaper. She later studied film at Columbia University. Before making Shirkers, she directed two shorts, Moveable Feast (1996) and Gourmet Baby (2001), and wrote a novel, The Black Isle (2012). “It should be said that back in 1992, Georges and I were obsessed with Nestor Almendros and the way he shot Days of Heaven for Terrence Malick,” Tan says of her 25-year-old footage. “Inspired by him, we shot most of the original Shirkers exteriors during magic hour, which in equatorial Singapore lasts only 15 minutes. That’s why the shoot took two and a half months, but also why it looks pretty fab.” (Filmmaker Magazine)

Film Details
  • Country(ies): USA
  • Language(s): English
  • Year: 2018
  • Running time: 96
  • Director(s): Sandi Tan
  • Producer(s): Sandi Tan, Jessica Levin, Maya Rudolph
  • Cinematographer(s): Iris Ng
  • Editor(s): Lucas Celler, Sandi Tan, Kimberley Hassett
  • Music: Ishai Adar

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