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Documentary Feature Competition

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Shirkers
USA, 2018, 96 min., Color
In 1992, teenage VHS-bootlegger Sandi Tan and her fellow film-geek pals Jasmine Ng and Sophie Siddique shot Singapore’s first road movie with their enigmatic American mentor, Georges. It was called “Shirkers.” Sandi wrote the script and played the lead, S, a 16-year-old assassin collecting and then eliminating her own tribe. After shooting wrapped, Georges absconded with all of the footage… The 16mm Kodak cans are recovered 20 years later, sending Sandi, now a novelist in Los Angeles, on a personal, singular odyssey across two continents in search of Georges’ vanishing footprints—and her own.
Screenings
Director
Sandi Tan

Director Bio
Born in Singapore, Sandi published a cult zine called The Exploding Cat at 16 and at 22 became the film critic at The Straits Times, Singapore’s largest newspaper. Then she threw all that away to run off to film school at Columbia University. Her short films Moveable Feast and Gourmet Baby have played at over 100 film festivals including the New York Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand and at MoMA, as well as broadcast internationally on RAI, SBS and ZDF/arte. She is also the author of The Black Isle (Hachette USA), an epic novel that re-imagines Singapore’s 20th century as a ghost story. It was a Publishers Weekly “Pick of the Week,” and has been described as an “ambitious” (Los Angeles Times), “cinematic” (Kirkus Reviews) and “gulpable” “psychosexual odyssey” (Vogue) that is “both epic and intimate” (LA Weekly) and “should not be missed” (Philadelphia Inquirer). The novel has been translated into Dutch, Turkish and Polish. She was a 2016 Sundance Documentary Film Program Fellow and a 2017 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow. Her film Shirkers made its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival where she won a Directing award. The film has earned enthusiastic reviews--including in The New Yorker, Film Comment, The Guardian (5/5 star review), and inclusion on Best Of Sundance lists (the Hollywood Reporter, Newsweek and the Los Angeles Times). She lives in Pasadena, California and was recently named one of Variety's "10 Documentary Filmmakers to Watch" in 2018.
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