×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Singapore’s Maiden Sundance Selection ‘Pop Aye’ Picked Up by Cercamon

After a busy year, Singapore film making is now additionally celebrating the selection of “Pop Aye” as the opening movie in the 2017 Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition section.

The road trip drama is the first feature by Tan and the first time that a Singapore film has found such a prominent position in Sundance.

It has also secured international sales representation through Cercamon. The Dubai-based sales agency was established last year by Sebastien Chesneau, former sales head at Rezo Films International.

The film’s selection comes after a banner year that included the selection of Boo Junfeng’s Apprentice and K Rajagopal’s “A Yellow Bird” for slots in different sections of the Cannes festival.

Production is by Lai Wenjie at E&W Films and executive production by Giraffe Pictures. Giraffe is the production label of director Anthony Chen, who won the Camera d’Or at Cannes in 2013 with “Ilo Ilo.”

Tan is no stranger to festivals, having previously won multiple awards with her short films “Dahdi” and “Fonzi.” Similarly, “Pop Aye” was developed at the Berlinale Talents program, the TorinoFilmLab, and the Cannes Atelier.

Set in Thailand, the story is simple enough, involving a man who is reunited with an elephant friend. Together they take a redemptive journey to the farm where they both grew up.

“I realize that an elephant can be loaded with symbolic meaning, but for me it is more literal,” Tan told Variety. “Maybe it is like searching for the meaning of Rosebud in ‘Citizen Kane’.”

“The man is having an existential crisis and has problems with his wife. I could say what I think the elephant might mean, but I’d rather that people watch the film for themselves.

It is currently unclear when that will be. “We hope to release the film in Singapore in the second half (of 2017.) We may release it ourselves, but are open to working with a distributor,” said Tan. “We are still sending it out to festivals in the first half of the year.”

“I am over-wrought with imagination. So ‘Pop Aye’ has no connection with any of my short films. Everything is new. It is not autobiographical, though I can see that it might reflect my philosophy, my world view, and attitudes.”

The Sundance Film Festival takes place January 19-29, 2017 with screenings in Park City, Salt
Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah.

More Film

  • Midnight Traveler review

    Film Review: 'Midnight Traveler'

    Refugees rarely get to tell their own stories, which means their stories get told for them — often inaccurately and with undue hostility. Lack of resources is one issue, but a lack of stability is another: Asylum-seekers are in a frightening state of limbo, fleeing the imminent dangers of their native countries only to suffer [...]

  • WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make

    WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make Deals if Agents are Fired

    The Writers Guild of America has authorized managers and lawyers to negotiate deals for writers in place of agents — if the guild tells members to fire their agents on April 7. The guild’s negotiating committee notified members of the plans in a message Wednesday. The WGA and the Association of Talent Agents having made [...]

  • Gone With the Wind Screening

    Film News Roundup: 'Gone With the Wind' Sets Event Cinema Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Gone with the Wind” sets a new record, “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” is acquired, and Tracy Oliver signs with Topic Studios. EVENT CINEMA RECORD The 80th anniversary release of “Gone with the Wind” has grossed $2.23 million in six nationwide screenings on four dates — a record as the [...]

  • Made in Abyss - Journey’s Dawn

    Film Review: ‘Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn’

    It’s a Herculean effort to take a multi-volume manga like author Akihito Tsukushi’s “Made in Abyss,” adapt it into a popular anime television series, and then compress the show into a coherent feature (technically, two movies), but the folks at Sentai Filmworks have done just that. Part one, “Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn,” will screen [...]

  • HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market

    HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market Winners

    Eighteen prizes were presented on Wednesday afternoon at the closing ceremony of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. The project market sits alongside FilMart as part of the Entertainment Expo in Hong Kong. “Wong Tai Sin Assassination” to be directed by Wong Hoi and produced by Derek Kwok Tsz-kin, was named the winner of [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Makes Concession on Film Financing in Agent Talks

    The Writers Guild of America has made a concession in film financing in its negotiations with Hollywood talent agents — the second in six weeks of talks. WGA West executive director David Young said Wednesday that it had made a “significant move” toward reaching a deal with the Association of Talent Agents for a revamped [...]

  • Noah Centineo He-Man

    Noah Centineo to Play He-Man in 'Masters of the Universe' Reboot

    From a boy (who’s loved) to He-Man. Noah Centineo is in talks to take on the superhero in Sony Pictures and Mattel Films’ “Masters of the Universe.” Brothers Adam and Aaron Nee are directing the reboot. Mattel Films is partnering with Sony on the movie, which is based on Mattel’s beloved toy line that spawned [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content