Film Talk with The Projector's Founders

The Projector is a new independent cinema at Beach Road and more than that, a creative platform that sets out to revive that special feeling of anticipation and enjoyment of going to the movies. With more edgy film programming, one-of-a-kind events, versatile spaces and an inviting cinema café,The Projector hopes to provide a genuine alternative to the cineplex chains in Singapore. It is a creative partnership between Pocket Projects and FARM. The idea was born out of a love for old, undiscovered spaces and a desire for an alternative venue for a different film watching experience. 
Each of the founders behind The Projector gave us 10 minutes of their time to talk about why they are doing this, the films they like and want to bring to Singapore audiences. 

Karen Tan, Founder of Pocket Projects

Karen believes no project is too small to influence the way we think about, experience and live in our city. She is grateful that she was given the chance to create the award-winning Lorong 24A Shophouse Series, Singapore ( Before PP, she worked in an urban regeneration developer, and has extensive experience in real estate investment banking in London. Pocket Projects is a creative development consultancy and management company.

What are some of your favourite films?

Miyasaki films by Studio Ghibli. Perfect blend of fantastical imaginative detail yet dark, with beautiful artwork.
Kieślowski's Three Colours Trilogy. Beautiful stories beautifully shot.
Tan Pin Pin’s Singapore Gaga and Invisible City. Tapestry of collective social memories, which are at risk of getting lost in today’s fog of distractions. She’s quietly observant and candid.

What types of films would like to bring to Singapore?

A diversity of films, hopefully that which inspires thought instead of passive consumption would be nice

What was your previous job? 

My current job is running Pocket Projects, a creative development consultancy which I founded a few years ago. We look at adaptive reuse and place-making in the urban environment. The Projector is one of our current projects.

What made you take this plunge?

Life’s too short. Better do something you see a point in before you’re dead.

Sharon Tan, Manager of The Projector

With a background in planning, urban design and regeneration, Sharon brings to the table a broader urban perspective, drawing upon her work at the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore before joining the team at Pocket Pockets. The Projector marries all her greatest loves (film, alternative/creative stuff, food) under one roof. Come by and say hello in December! :)
What are some of your favourite films?

Haha I know I'm going to be judged by one and all based on these few choices! It's hard to shortlist just a few, but here goes:

Richard Linklater's Waking Life - One of the most mesmerising films i've ever seen. A swirling stream of philosophical musings through the protagonist's random encounters with seemingly familiar characters, coupled with rotoscope animation and a great soundtrack creates an exceptionally vivid lucid dreaming experience. I wish my dreams could be captured on film like this! Definitely my favourite of all of Linklater's films.

Incendies - I recall watching the film's opening sequence and as Radiohead's 'You and Whose Army' washed over the theatre I knew the film was going to be unforgettable. It was, and still is. I can watch the opening over and over again and it sends shivers up my spine every time, it's indescribable. I'm really proud that we're screening it at The Projector. Come catch it while you still can! And please come early so you don't miss the beginning...

Mary Poppins - I generally don't like musicals, but this film is such a visual treat and successfully juxtaposes zany magical escapism against the sobering backdrop of reality of that time. It is such a grown-up film for kids. 

Wong Kar Wai’s In The Mood For Love – The same reasons why others love this film and Wong Kar Wai. Beautiful portrait of solitude. I can watch this repeatedly on loop, alone.

Donnie Darko - Dark and enigmatic, disenchanted teenagers, killer '80s songs on the soundtrack.

What types of films would you like to bring to Singapore?

In a nutshell, films that present alternative perspectives, explore atypical subject matter and prompt introspection.

What was your previous job? 

I was an urban planner. Cities are full of enigmas, the stuff of films!

What made you take this plunge?

Realising if not now, then never!

Michelle Goh, Assistant Film Programmer of The Projector

Michelle is trained as a seabird biologist and spent the last five years remote island hopping. When the penguins were tucked in at night, the only thing left to do was to catch a film. When in civilisation - find her in the nearest indie cinema - which in Singapore, can only be The Projector.

What are some of your favourite films?

If I knew why I love certain films and not others I would be a film critic instead! I tend to lean towards films which are both visually and emotionally evocative, characters in shades of grey (which is why I'm not catching the movie with the same namesake!) and/or good dose of dark humour - these are just some films which have left lasting impressions on me. 

American History X
The Big Lebowski 
The Hunt

What types of films would you like to bring to Singapore?

Wetlands - the most WTF NSFW movie of the year.

What was your previous job? 

I worked for a long time as a seabird field assistant out on remote islands - where the only thing to do after a day of bird molesting was to kick back and watch a great film.

What made you take this plunge?

When I went to college - I would spend a lot of my time hanging out at The Cable Car - a small independent cinema in Rhode Island, which consistently played fantastic non Blockbuster films in a tiny room from littered with couches, and I've since found many equivalent in various cities I've visited - except Singapore. Surely it's time now?

Go check out the Projector today or visit their website at for the latest screenings.

Take a visual tour of The Projector and its neighbourhood in our previous photo story on The Projector.

Finally, check out their facebook page for more of the latest activities.
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