2021 was spent developing new projects and I also shot a new no-budget short film in black & white. Here’s the sneak peak and hope to premiere it at a festival in 2022! Oh yes, it’s another love story. Thanks to all cast & crew who helped out!
Here are some screengrabs from my new short film, The Man Who Can’t Smile, commissioned by Viddsee, starring Haresh Tilani and Constance Lau. It was a great experience making this film. Basically it’s inspired by my resting b*tch face. What if I could smile forever? 🙂
World premiere: My new short film is now online!
The Man Who Can’t Smile: A man with a sad face is often misunderstood by others in his daily life. He undergoes a surgery to give himself a permanent smile. This is a whimsical silent film accompanied by orchestral music.
Director’s statement: This film is inspired by my ‘resting b*tch face’. When I was younger, I didn’t smile so much. People often thought that I was sad, tired, or unapproachable. I soon realised that it could have been my face. I thought, what if I had a permanent smiley face?
As I developed the story, I found out that there are people with a rare condition known as Moebius Syndrome. They can’t control their facial muscles and have a real inability to smile. This film is a metaphor for people who face struggles fitting into society.
Zombiepura is now streaming on Netflix Korea. Thank you Korea and Contents Panda for your support! Proud to have made a movie that has travelled this far to Korean audiences.
Catch our TV premiere tonight on Channel 5! Zombiepura will also stream exclusively this month on Mewatch.sg
Zombiepura is out on DVD and streaming in Japan! Love the fantastic artwork and glad to see it has made it to some living rooms.
Zombiepura is on the list of Sinema’s 10 Favourite Films of the decade! We are extremely honoured! Read the list here.
Zombiepura holds a special place in my heart for its passion for the zombie genre and its guts to create something we have yet to see in Singapore cinema.– Sinema
My new feature film project in development has won an award at the Southeast Asian Film Financing Project Market. Thank you SAFF for the opportunity!
Singapore’s Jacen Tan won the Salt Media Award, a development grant of $5,000 for comedy/drama “Basketcase.”
The winners were selected from a pool of 85 entries from 18 countries. The SAFF Project Market is jointly produced by Southeast Asian Audio-Visual Association (SAAVA) and Ties That Bind: Asia/Europe Producers Workshop, in conjunction with ScreenSingapore.
Thank you SGIFF for having me on the discussion panel: What happens after your first film?
Jacen Tan’s first feature, Zombiepura, was a box office success in Singapore cinemas in 2018. His striking use of horror and comedy in a local context earned him the title of ‘Singapore’s latest film funnyman’ by The Straits Times.
When asked about the difference between commercial and independent features, Tan feels that “a commercial film can still have an independent voice in it and vice versa, an independent film can still have commercial sensibilities.
Was a great learning experience from K. Rajagopal, Wong Chen-hsi and Jeremy Chua. Read a recap of the discussion here. It was a fantastic festival overall and I got to watch and learn from many films and filmmakers.
Variety Magazine covered the SGIFF panel discussion I was in. Thanks to the organisers for having me! Read the full Variety article.