Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Long road to success

The New Paper, Wednesday, 12 April 2017, Page 21, Lifestyle
From http://epaper.tnp.sg/jr/jrpc.php?date=2017-04-12&page=1&ed=1
Source Website: http://www.tnp.sg/entertainment/movies/long-road-success
By Joanne Soh, joannes@sph.com.sg, Assistant Entertainment editor, 12 April 2017 at 06:00 am


Pop Aye, about a man and his elephant, opens in cinemas here tomorrow
PHOTO: Pop Aye, about a man and his elephant, opens in cinemas here tomorrow
A road trip film about a disillusioned middle-aged man who attempts to take his long-lost elephant from Bangkok to the rural village where they grew up together.
PHOTOS: GIRAFFE PICTURES, GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES
Posted by Joanne Soh, Assistant Entertainment editor, 12 April 2017 at 06:00 am

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Singaporean film-maker's debut movie wins Sundance prize

Kirsten Tan makes for a great Singaporean case study.

The local director pursued her dreams despite her parents' misgivings and won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in January for her debut feature film Pop Aye.

Her success story was mentioned by the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung in Parliament last month, where he highlighted the need for parents to allow their children to pursue their interests.

Said Mr Ong: "There are so many aspects of her story that are relevant to our education system. Kirsten had always wanted to make films, but her parents, in her own words, 'die die wanted her to go to a university'. So she went to study literature at the National University of Singapore (NUS) but never gave up on film."


Writer-director Kirsten Tan
PHOTO: Writer-director Kirsten Tan
She pursued her dreams despite her parents' misgivings and won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in January for her debut feature film Pop Aye. It is the first Singapore feature film selected to compete at Sundance, the largest independent film festival in the United States.
PHOTOS: GIRAFFE PICTURES, GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES
Posted by Joanne Soh, Assistant Entertainment editor, 12 April 2017 at 06:00 am

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Her perseverance has paid off with Pop Aye, a road trip film about a disillusioned middle-aged man who attempts to take his long-lost elephant from Bangkok to the rural village where they grew up together.

It is the first Singapore feature film selected to compete at Sundance, the largest independent film festival in the United States.

Opening here tomorrow, it is executive-produced by local director Anthony Chen under his film company, Giraffe Pictures.



The Long (Hilly) Road To Success
PHOTO: The Long (Hilly) Road To Success
Kirsten's success story was mentioned by the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung in Parliament last month, where he highlighted the need for parents to allow their children to pursue their interests.
Said Mr Ong: "There are so many aspects of her story that are relevant to our education system. Kirsten had always wanted to make films, but her parents, in her own words, 'die die wanted her to go to a university'. So she went to study literature at the National University of Singapore (NUS) but never gave up on film."
Picture posted by Paul Petricca on 19 July 2013
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https://torquehitting.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/iowa-hills.jpg
https://torque-hitting.com/2013/07/19/the-long-hilly-road-to-success/



VALIDATED
Tan, 36, told The New Paper how her struggles were finally validated when her parents attended the recent Singapore gala screening of Pop Aye.

She said: "They were initially hesitant to attend, as they had not been to a cinema for seven years.

"Their presence meant a lot to me. It is a kind of tacit support (understood or implied without being stated) - it is them approving what I do for once."

Tan, who is now based in New York, said her parents, who are in their 60s, had never done anything excessive to show encouragement while she was growing up.

"We are a traditional Chinese family... no big hugs, no words of 'well done'. Showing up for my film is a subtle cue that they now accept my career," she said.



Kirsten Tan, who is now based in New York, said her parents, who are in their 60s, had never done anything excessive to show encouragement while she was growing up.
PHOTO: Kirsten Tan, who is now based in New York, said her parents, who are in their 60s, had never done anything excessive to show encouragement while she was growing up.
"We are a traditional Chinese family... no big hugs, no words of 'well done'. Showing up for my film is a subtle cue that they now accept my career," she said.
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After graduating from NUS, Tan went on to study film-making at Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

She hopes to see more young people pursue film-making, and more parents changing their "one can't survive pursuing the arts" mindset.

She said: "The main problem in Singapore, I think, is pragmatism (sensibly and realistically, based on practical rather than theoretical considerations). To groom a film-maker is like growing a tree. It takes at least a decade of training to become decent at the craft.

"Most people don't have the luxury of time and patience to see if the tree will amount to something. Film-making is a high-risk career."



The main problem in Singapore, I think, is pragmatism. To groom a film-maker is like growing a tree. It takes at least a decade of training to become decent at the craft.
PHOTO: "The main problem in Singapore, I think, is pragmatism (sensibly and realistically, based on practical rather than theoretical considerations). To groom a film-maker is like growing a tree. It takes at least a decade of training to become decent at the craft.
"Most people don't have the luxury of time and patience to see if the tree will amount to something. Film-making is a high-risk career."
Picture posted by Lorena Moreno‏ @LorenaMr71 on 21 April 2016 (Twitter)

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Tan hopes that her experience and that of Chen, who won the prestigious Camera d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for his heartwarming drama Ilo Ilo, will spur parents in their 40s and 50s to be "encouraging towards the arts".

"I felt like a misfit growing up. I felt bad that I was so interested in the arts.

"I was the black sheep in my family in a way because I didn't find a 'proper job'," said Tan, who is planning to shoot a Teochew short film while she is in town.

Acceptance may have come 15 years late, but she is proud that she stuck to her guns.

"I'm not good at that many things in life. It is not like I'm good at film-making, but I'm familiar with it. There is nothing else that I'd want to do.

"Oftentimes, I'm completely spent and drained, but it is very fulfilling."



I was the black sheep in my family in a way because I didn't find a 'proper job'.Oftentimes, I'm completely spent and drained, but it is very fulfilling.
PHOTO: "I was the black sheep in my family in a way because I didn't find a 'proper job'. Oftentimes, I'm completely spent and drained, but it is very fulfilling."
Life is not a bed of rose. It is a bed of tulips without torns. Something better at the end of the road. Over the other side, a beautiful kingdom in the presence of our Creator awaits. Just Believe our Saviour and accept Him. He loves us.
May God's blessing descend upon you, forever!
Picture posted by Lorena Moreno‏ @LorenaMr71 on 21 April 2016 (Twitter)

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https://twitter.com/mamaejik


By Joanne Soh, joannes@sph.com.sg, Assistant Entertainment editor, 12 April 2017 at 06:00 am



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