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  • Writer's pictureGEM LAB

Master Class with Singaporean filmmaker Tan Pin Pin - Documentary Making as Wayfinding in Singapore

Master Class with Singaporean filmmaker Tan Pin Pin (with RIDM)

"Documentary Making as Wayfinding in Singapore"

5:30pm, November 13, 2017

GEM lab, FB630.15, Concordia University

This event has limited space and require registration. Please register by emailing, with your profession and affiliation.

A key figure in the Singaporean documentary community, for more than a decade Tan Pin Pin has been building an eclectic, multidisciplinary and essential body of work. Her films, most of which have never before been screened in Quebec, present a unique and necessary perspective on her country’s character and history. This year, Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) curates a Tan Pin Pin Retrospective, and present her exciting works to Montreal audiences. In this master class, Tan Pin Pin will discuss her film-making as a way for her and the community to navigate and document Singaporean history and social transformation.

About the filmmaker

Director Tan Pin Pin is Singapore’s foremost documentary director. She chronicles and questions the gaps in history, memory and documentation. Her films study the process of self-examination itself, rendering its complexities with emotional power and visual clarity. They have screened at the leading festivals including the Berlinale, Hot Docs, Busan, Cinéma du Réel, Visions du Réel, SXSW and at the Flaherty Seminar.

In Singapore, they have received sold out theatrical screenings and toured schools. Singapore GaGa (2005) was the first Singapore documentary to have a theatrical run. Meanwhile, her video installations were shown in the President’s Young Talent Show, Singapore Biennale, p-10 and at IFA Gallery, Berlin.

The Singaporean director has won or been nominated for more than 20 awards, most recently for her 2013 feature To Singapore, with Love (banned in Singapore) from Dubai International Film Festival. Previously, Invisible City (2007) won the Scam International Award at Cinéma du Réel. Singapore GaGa (2005) was voted Best Film, 2006, by Singapore’s The Straits Times.

In 2015, her short film Pineapple Town was one of seven in the acclaimed omnibus film 7 Letters that was Singapore’s submission to the Oscars. Tan is on the “Asian Cinema 100” list of top 100 Directors compiled by Busan International Film Festival. She has been on film juries of Cinemanila, Jiffest, Busan and DMZDocs amongst others.

Pin Pin is a co-founding member of filmcommunitysg, a community of independent filmmakers. She is currently a board member of the Singapore International Film Festival. She was also a former board member of The Substation and the National Archives of Singapore.

Pin Pin started out as an assistant director in TV dramas, (Triple Nine, Growing Up) and sitcoms (Under One Roof) before she won an S. Rajaratnam scholarship to study for an MFA at Northwestern University, USA. While she was there, she won the Kodak Eastman Scholarship for Cinematography. She is a qualified lawyer and has a law degree from Oxford University.

IN TIME TO COME (2017) is her latest feature documentary, it currently being released in Singapore, as well as screening at festivals. The trailer is available here:

For more about Tan Pin Pin's work, please visit her website or Vimeo page

RIDM Tan Pin Pin Retrospective:

Selected Filmography

Moving House (2001)

Singapore GaGa (2005)

Invisible City (2007)

To Singapore, with Love (2013)

Pineapple Town (2015)

In Time to Come (2017)

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