6 Feb – Not long after making history with its win at this year's Sundance Film Festival, Singaporean movie "Pop Aye" has once again made a name for itself on the international stage.
The Kirsten Tan movie was recently named this year's winner of the VPRO Big Screen Award, having beaten seven other movies in the Big Screen Competition at International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) 2017.
Tan was awarded a cash prize of €30,000, which includes the €15,000 that will be spent towards the theatrical release of the movie in the Netherlands.
Her feature directorial debut will be screened in Dutch cinemas and also aired on NPO2 by Dutch public broadcaster NPO.
The winner of The Big Screen Competition is chosen by a jury of five film enthusiasts and experienced festival goers, who choose the movie that they want to bring to Dutch arthouse audiences.
""Pop Aye" gives hope in times where the world is becoming more and more divided with every day," the jury, who were moved to laughter and tears by the movie, commented on the IFFR blog.
Since its conception in 2013, this is the first time for a Southeast Asian filmmaker to win the VPRO Big Screen Award. Previous winners had come from Italy, Russia, United Kingdom and France.
Tan's movie, filmed in Thailand with a film cast and crew, follows a disenchanted architect (Thaneth Warakulnukroh) who bumps into his long-lost elephant on the streets of Bangkok and decides to go on a road trip to find the farm where they grew up together.