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Kirsten & Cat

BIOGRAPHY

A versatile filmmaker with a penchant for bold visual storytelling, Kirsten Tan’s works straddle a range of genres, but are consistent in their humanity and off-beat humor.

Being a bit of an adventurer, she was raised in Singapore but has lived in South Korea and Thailand before New York City, where she recently completed a Master’s in Film Production at New York University. There she was honored to receive the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts Fellowship. 

Her works have been showcased in a host of international film festivals. She has screened thrice at Rotterdam International Film Festival for Sink (2009), Dahdi (2015) and the recently completed POP AYE (2017). She co-directed a fashion film, Ella (2014), for Giorgio Armani, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Ella received an AICP show honor and has been included as a part of the archives of the Department of Film at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). She competed at the Busan International Film Festival with Cold Noodles (2010); the film also won Reel 13 shorts and later aired on the PBS channel. Her short work Play Your Part (2012) was a finalist at the AICP award Show and was further screened in the Director’s Guild of America (DGA) Theatre in NY and LA. The piece was later awarded Best-Of-All entries at the Porsche Awards in Germany. 

She has collected over fifteen international awards, most recently the Special Jury Prize for Screenwriting at the Sundance Film Festival for POP AYE (2017), and is a four-time Silver Screen Award Nominee at the Singapore International Film Festival, where she won Best Southeast Asian Film for Dahdi (2014), Best Director for Fonzi (2007), and Special Jury Prize for 10 Minutes Later (2006).

In 2017, she completed her debut feature – POP AYE. It was selected to participate in Berlinale Talent’s Script Station 2014. It also competed in Torino Film Lab’s Framework Program 2014, where it was awarded the Top Prize of 65,000€. In 2015, POP AYE was invited by the Cannes Film Festival as one of 15 projects presented under L'Atelier, which showcases a tightly-curated selection of feature films in pre-production.

POP AYE made its World Premiere in competition at Sundance Film Festival 2017 - it was the Opening Film for the World Cinema Dramatic Competition. It screened to positive reviews from The Hollywood Reporter, Roger Ebert, Variety and Screen International. It went on to receive a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. For its European premiere, POP AYE was awarded the VPRO Big Screen Award at Rotterdam International Film Festival.

Commercially, she has directed content for brands including Heineken, Giorgio Armani, TED Talks, Magnum Ice-cream and Credit-Suisse.

She was featured on CNN International’s flagship program, Ones to Watch, which  'shines a spotlight on up-and-coming creative talents set to be the next big names in culture and the arts'. Other press features include BBC World, Paper Magazine, Channel News Asia, The Straits Times, Buro247, Timeout Singapore, Prestige Magazine, Cleo, and SG Asia, amongst others.


 

 

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

2017

  1. Special Jury Prize in Screenwriting - "POP AYE" Sundance Film Festival

  2. VPRO Big Screen Award - "POP AYE"
    International Film Festival Rotterdam


2015

  1. Young Artist Award
    National Arts Council, Singapore

  2. Featured on CNN's “Ones to Watch”
    CNN International’s Flagship Feature

  3. L'Atelier - "Popeye"
    Cannes Film Festival

  4. Student Award - "Dahdi"
    National Board of Review

  5. Winner-AICP Show & Next Awards - "Ella"
    Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), NYC

  6. As Long As It Takes Showcase - "Dahdi"
    Rotterdam Intl Film Fest

  7. Carl Lerner Award for Social Significance;
    Craft Award for Screenwriting; Cinematography;
    and Performance - "Dahdi"

    First Run Film Festival



2014

  1. Best Southeast Asian Short Film - "Dahdi"
    Singapore Intl Film Fest

  2. Top Prize - "Popeye"
    Torino Film Lab, FrameWorks Programme

  3. Script Station - "Popeye"
    Berlinale Talent Campus

  4. Giorgio Armani's Films of City Frames- "Ella"
    Toronto Intl Film Fest

2013

  1. Best Doc Nominee - "John Clang"
    Singapore Short Film Awards


2012

  1. AICP Show & Next Awards - "Play Your Part"
    Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York

  2. Volker Bahnemann Cinematography Award
    Nominee, NYU

  3. Best Fiction Nominee – “Thin Air”
    Singapore Short Film Awards

  4. Winner - "Cold Noodles"
    Reel 13 Shorts, The PBS Channel


2011

  1. Shoot Magazine’s New Director Showcase
    Director's Guild of America, New York

  2. Best-of-all-Entries - "Play Your Part"
    Porsche Awards, Germany

2010

  1. Tisch School of the Arts Fellowship
    New York University, Tisch School of the Arts

  2. Sonje Award Nominee – “Cold Noodles”
    Busan International Film Festival, South Korea

  3. Spectrum Showcase – “Sink”
    Rotterdam International Film Festival

  4. Best International Short Film - "Sink"
    Planet In Focus, Canada 

  5. Best Cinematography
    Singapore Short Film Awards

2008

  1. Special Mention for Direction - "Fonzi"
    Asian Film Symposium Young Jury Award

  2. Best Cinematography - "Fonzi"
    Asian Film Symposium Young Jury Award
     

2007

  1. Best Director Award - "Fonzi"
    Singapore International Film Festival 

  2. Best Concept Award - "Fonzi"
    48th BRNO Sixteen
     
  3. 3rd place - "10 Minutes Later"
    International Women’s Film Festival, Philippines

2006

  1. Asian Youth Filmmaker’s Forum (Residency)
    Jeonbuk Independent Film Association

  2. Special Jury Prize - "10 Minutes Later"
    Singapore International Film Festival 

  3. National Prize Winner - "10 Minutes Later"
    Kodak Film Award

  4. Silver Medal - "10 Minutes Later"
    47th BRNO Sixteen, Czech Republic
     
  5. 3rd place - "10 Munutes Later"
    Ohnekohle Video & Film Festival

  6. Best Experimental Film - "10 Minutes Later"
    Student Film Festival in the Greater China Region

2005

  1. Media Education Scheme Scholarship
    Ngee Ann Poly (from MDA)

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