After winning the prestigious Sundance award, Singaporean film-maker Kirsten Tan and her film POP AYE has grabbed the VPRO Big Screen Award at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2017. This latest award is the second international recognition for the local director.
On Saturday, Tan wrote on her Facebook page that the award was "truly completely unexpected" especially after the success at the Sundance Film Festival. POP AYE is the first Singaporean film to win the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Screenwriting.
"It's an enormous honour, especially as a first time filmmaker. I am immensely grateful. I'm also particularly happy about this award because the winning film will screen in Dutch cinemas," she posted.
Tan added: "It means a lot to me that POP AYE seems to be able to find traction both on the festival circuit as well as in theatrical release, as these are worlds that don't always necessarily go together."
A Singapore-Thailand production, POP AYE was one of the eight films that were shortlisted for the Big Screen Award. According to the competition's website, the winning film's director would receive 15,000 euros as well as another 15,000 euros for the film's theatrical release in the Netherlands.
The film revolves round a story of a disenchanted man who attempts to take his long-lost elephant on a redemptive journey across the country in search of the farm where they grew up together.