A downtrodden architect and his long-lost elephant take a road trip across Thailand to find their childhood home in this offbeat and very funny Sundance screenwriting award-winner.
Once a cutting edge architect renowned for his progressive buildings, Thana is having a hard time at work and with his wife. Wandering the streets of Bangkok he comes across Pop Aye, the elephant he grew up with in rural Thailand. Thana promptly buys the elephant and the unusual pair set off on a road trip back towards the idyll of their home village. Along the way they meet fascinating characters, from a wild-haired man who seems to foretell the future to a transgender roadside bar singer. In her debut feature Kirsten Tan has total control, taking advantage of the beautiful scenery, wonderful actors and a charismatic elephant to tell a story that is unsentimental but genuinely moving.
World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Screenwriting
Tan's crowdpleasing film should eye up the audience-friendly space previously occupied by titles such as The Lunchbox. – Fionnuala Halligan, ScreenDaily
Warm yet unsentimental, graced with the lightest touch of surrealism, this opening-night offering from Sundance's world cinema dramatic competition is a joy. – Maggie Lee, Variety
KIRSTEN TAN's works have screened at film festivals in Singapore, Rotterdam, Toronto and Busan. Spotlighted by CNN's 'Ones to Watch', she has received numerous international awards, including Best Southeast Asian Short Film for Dahdi (2014) and Best Director for Fonzi (2007) at the Singapore International Film Festival. Pop Aye, her debut feature, premiered in competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
Travelling Film Festival Newcastle, June 23 - 25: Tickets also available for Pop Aye at TFF Newcastle.