KIRSTEN TAN, 36
Film Director and Screenwriter
Female-directed films are few and far between. In fact, with every international film festival held, the question gets more pressing: Where are the female directors? Kirsten Tan is making her cinematic presence felt with her first full-length feature, Pop Aye, which has become the only Singapore film to win the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Screenwriting at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival 2017. “Just being at Sundance and seeing people queuing up to watch my movie in January, I felt like that, in itself, was enough,” the writer-director recalls. “But then I got the call from Trevor Groth, Director of Programming at Sundance, about the win. I was trying to maintain my calm during our conversation, but as soon as it ended, I really celebrated.” Her labour of love, which took three-and-a-half years to create, is proof that there has never been a better time for women to make their mark with local films. “There is quite a serious gender imbalance in the filmmaking industry, not just in Singapore, but it’s good that people are finally recognising it as a problem,” says Kirsten.
WORDS TO LIVE BY: “Always challenge the status quo.” NEXT UP: “I’m working on a couple of short projects: A commercial and a commissioned short film. Just short-form stuff, so I can relax and take it slightly easy for now.”
Jacket from Q Menswear; and T-shirt from H&M.