Singaporean director’s film ‘Shirkers’ shortlisted for Oscar’s Best Documentary Feature

Singapore-born film director Sandi Tan’s work has been shortlisted for an Oscar category. — Picture via TODAY
Singapore-born film director Sandi Tan’s work has been shortlisted for an Oscar category. — Picture via TODAY

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SINGAPORE, Dec 19 — Filmmaker Sandi Tan, who made the Netflix film Shirkers, has become possibly the first Singaporean to be shortlisted for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.

Shirkers, directed by Tan, 46, is about the loss and subsequent reappearance of a film of the same name which she had shot back in 1992.

A total of 166 films were submitted for the category and 15 were shortlisted.

Members of the documentary branch of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the United States voted for the shortlist.

The final nominees will be announced on Jan 22 next year.

Tan told TODAY in an Instagram message: “Everyone has said that this is an exceptionally strong year in documentary film and I have seen this myself, since I’ve been on the circuit with many of these colleagues in Sundance this year. So I feel particularly thrilled to be part of this shortlist cohort (which includes many talented friends) and I’m proud to be part of this wonderful batch.”

Earlier this year, she had won Best Director for Shirkers in the World Cinema Documentary category at the Sundance Film Festival.

The film later premiered on the online movie streaming service Netflix in October.

“Netflix has been doing a tremendous job to promote the film and I am very grateful for their support,” Tan added.

Separately, Shirkers was voted as the seventh best film of 2018 out of 20. This was compiled by Sight and Sound, an international film magazine published by the British Film Institute. A total of 164 international critics and curators were polled to determine the list.

Last year, Singaporean sound editor Lee Ai-Ling was nominated for two categories at the Oscars, sound mixing and sound editing, for her work on La La Land.

Another Singaporean, animator Nickson Fong, received a certificate when he won the Academy’s Scientific and Technical Achievement Award back in 2013 for inventing a revolutionary 3D animation technique. — TODAY

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