World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Screenplay, Kirsten Tan

Thana, a once-illustrious architect, drifts ever further into existential crisis, propelled by the impending demolition of his proudest work and his wife’s waning romantic interest. Unexpectedly running into his long-lost childhood “pet” elephant Popeye, performing in the streets of Bangkok, spurs Thana on a quest across Thailand to return his displaced friend to rural Loei, the small village where they grew up. As the unlikely travelers saunter at elephant speed, they encounter fellow lost souls, like a gas station vagabond yearning for his first love and a lonely karaoke singer aching for a friend, who encourage them as a series of unfortunate mishaps impede their journey.

Pop Aye is a humane ode to the power of simple acts of kindness in a world of lost innocence and missed opportunities, punctuated by well-timed bursts of deadpan absurdity. Director Kirsten Tan, in her impressive feature debut, deftly weaves the poignance and humor of Popeye and Thana’s journey with a series of indelibly beautiful cinematic images of the film’s gigantic star in this lyrical road-trip dramedy.

YEAR 2017

SECTION World Drama

COUNTRY Singapore/Thailand

RUN TIME 102 min


SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles

EMAIL weijie@ewfilms.com.sg


Executive Producer
Co Producer
Director Of Photography
Production Designer

Artist Bio

Kirsten Tan

Kirsten Tan’s work has screened at film festivals in Singapore, Rotterdam, Toronto, and Busan. Spotlighted by CNN’s "Ones to Watch," she has received numerous international awards, including best Southeast Asian short film (Dahdi, 2014) at the Singapore International Film Festival, and Ella was entered into MoMA’s permanent film collection. Her debut feature, Pop Aye, was developed at Berlinale Talents Program, Cannes Atelier, and TorinoFilmLab. Pop Aye will premiere in competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.