ShoutOUT! Singapore Filmmaker Tan Bee Thiam's Tiong Bahru Social Club to Premiere at Busan International Film Festival

Tiong Bahru Social Club, the debut feature film of Singaporean filmmaker Tan Bee Thiam will premiere at the 25th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), under the 'A Window on Asian Cinema' which spotlights new works from Asian cinema.  The only Singaporean film at BIFF this year, previous Singapore titles featured at BIFF include Eric Khoo’s Mee Pok Man (1996) and the nation-building omnibus 7 Letters (2015).

A stylised comedy following a 30-year old millennial on his journey to find his purpose in life, whose quest leads him to Tiong Bahru Social Club, an organisation that aims to transform Tiong Bahru into the happiest neighbourhood in the world, the film is a satirical reflection of the absurdities of modern Singaporean society, inspired by comic masters such as Jacques Tati and Charlie Chaplin.  

“The whimsical, imaginative world of Tiong Bahru Social Club took us by surprise and we are excited to be the first to introduce it to international audiences,” says BIFF programmer, Park Sungho. “It's a refreshing film with a strong vision, a very unique piece. We could feel the team had fun making this movie.”

“We set out to create an unexpected, charming and visually striking film that is both uniquely Singaporean yet internationally appealing. We pushed the creative needle a lot, giving the iconic neighbourhood a fantastical spin,” says Tan. “Getting selected for a world premiere in Busan, a top tier A-list festival, is a recognition in itself. Singaporean films have done well in the international circuit over the past years and we hope these kinds of feats garner more interest in local cinema.”

Tiong Bahru Social Club is a love letter to Singaporeans and our desire to seek personal happiness in an increasingly data-driven world,” says producer Huang Junxiang.  Produced by Tiger Tiger Pictures, Bert Pictures, 13 Little Pictures, in association with WBSB Film and Uncle Auntie and Friends, the film is slated for a Singaporean release later this year.

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