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"Pop Aye" receives rave reviews at Sundance

Writer: Florey DM


"Pop Aye", the story of a man and his elephant.

23 Jan – Singaporean filmmaker Kirsten Tan's debut feature, "Pop Aye", is now showing at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Telling the story of a man discovering the truth about himself while travelling with his long-lost elephant, the movie was received with rave reviews at the festival.

"Its perspectives on generosity and the passing of life are utterly of their place, in many ways foreign to Western viewers, and all the more valuable to experience," wrote Michael Mejia of Saltlake Magazine.

Meanwhile Variety calls the "bromance" "Warm yet unsentimental, graced with the lightest touch of surrealism, this opening-night offering from Sundance's world cinema dramatic competition is a joy for patient viewers."

"Pop Aye" kicked off the World Cinema Dramatic Competition on the first day of the largest independent film festival in the U.S.

It also holds the honour of being the first Singaporean movie to compete in the aforementioned competition.


An eye-popping still from "Pop Aye".

Despite this being Tan's first feature-length film, the New York-based filmmaker opted to film in Thailand instead of Singapore. Her previous experience living in Thailand did assist in her communication with her Thai cast and crew.

She cast Thaneth Warakulnukroh to play the leading man, a disenchanted architect 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.

"Pop Aye" opened on the 19th at the Egyptian Theatre and will have a total of five screenings at various locations, the last of which would be shown at Holiday Village Cinema 2 on Friday, 27 January.

Sundance Film Festival runs from 19 to 29 January 2017 at Park City, Utah.

Cinema Online, 23 January 2017



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