The Man Who Can’t Smile – NEW FILM!

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.

It’s been a great journey making this film with Viddsee, and my cast and crew from Zombiepura, and new friends who have joined our team. Watch it now on YouTube (above), FB or Viddsee.

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.

My new project wins a top prize at SAFF Market 2019

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.

Singapore International Film Festival panel discussion 2019

Photo: Foo Yong Chin / Jaslyne Chua

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.

Flying the Singapore flag at ASEAN cinema week in South Korea

It’s an honour to be chosen to represent Singapore at ASEAN cinema week 2019. Met and hung out with filmmakers and personalities from all over the region! Zombiepura also premiered to a South Korean audience in Seoul, with Singapore Ambassador to South Korea in attendance. Thank you to programmer Young-woo Kim and Asean Culture House!