Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary — Sandi Tan, Shirkers


Embodying the creative spirit of the early ’90s, super-cinephile and VHS bootlegger Sandi Tan and her friends found inspiration in American independent film. Eventually, they knew it was time to make a film of their own. In her home country of Singapore, Sandi pens a thriller about a teenage assassin and enlisted her friends, Jasmine and Sophie—think the Coen sisters—and the mysterious mentor Georges to film it. Shirkers became one of the few films in the country to be shot guerilla style, coloring the newly independent nation with a playful, hyper-real aesthetic. Then one day, Georges disappeared with all the 16mm footage.

Sandi embarks on a personal, singular journey into her creative life, unpacks the urban legend of Shirkers, and connects the clues embedded in the film to unravel the mystery of who her friend Georges Cardona really was.

A retro-inspired, ardently analogue experiment in self-discovery and filmmaking, Shirkers becomes a portrait of what it means to be independent, defy patriarchy, and find your tribe—only to realize that they were with you all along.

Sun. 1/28, 11:30 a.m., Holiday 2, PC

SECTION Award Winners

RUN TIME 90 min