Sandi Tan set out to make Singapore's first independent feature. What happened next was stranger than fiction.
Part documentary, part mystery, Shirkers is a bizarre journey through time as director Sandi Tan grapples with the improbable events surrounding her first film.
Growing up in authoritarian Singapore in the 1980s, Sandi and her friends turned to film making and zine-crafting as a form of self-expression. After meeting the charismatic Georges Cardona at film school, they set out to make Singapore’s first independent feature, titled Shirkers. What should have been a joyful celebration of creativity quickly morphed into betrayal when Georges vanished, taking with him all 70 cans of film footage.
20 years later, Sandi was reunited with the long-lost footage, and set about making a new film. The result is a fascinating reflection on the highs and lows of creating personal art and the lasting impact it’s had on the once-idealistic filmmakers.
With dreamy pastel original footage from 1992 interspersed throughout the film, Shirkers makes you wonder how it might have shaped the cinematic universe had it not been sabotaged.
Please join us after the film for a very special discussion with Director Sandi Tan.
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*A very limited number of free tickets will be made available to AIDC All Access, Gold, and Focus Pass-holders 30 minutes before each film. Just show your pass at the ACMI Box Office.