A versatile filmmaker with a penchant for bold visual storytelling, Kirsten Tan's works are marked by their humanity and off-beat humor. Being a bit of an adventurer, she was raised in Singapore but has lived in South Korea and Thailand before moving to New York City, where she's been based for over a decade. A Sundance institute and Cinereach Film Fellow, she did her Master’s in Film Production at New York University and received the Tisch School of the Arts Fellowship.
She recently completed her debut feature, POP AYE. The film was selected to participate in Berlinale Talent’s Script Station and also competed in Torino Film Lab, where it was awarded the Top Production Prize. It was then presented at Cinefondation's L'Atelier of Cannes Film Festival .
POP AYE made its World Premiere in competition as the Opening Night film at Sundance Film Festival. It went on to receive a Special Jury Prize for Screenwriting at Sundance, the Big Screen Award at Rotterdam Film Festival and the Best International Film Award at Zurich Film Festival. To date, it has screened at over 50 film festivals and was also invited to represent Singapore in the Foreign Film Category at the Oscars.
Prior to completing POP AYE, she has made a series of short films. Her shorts (10 MINUTES LATER, FONZI, SINK, COLD NOODLES and DAHDI ) have collectively received over ten international awards and screened at international film festivals including Toronto, Busan and Rotterdam. At the Singapore International Film Festival, she was awarded Best Southeast Asian Film for Dahdi, Best Director for Fonzi, and Special Jury Prize for 10 Minutes Later.
She has directed content for brands including Giorgio Armani, TED Talks, Heineken and Raffles Hotel Singapore. ELLA, a fashion film for Giorgio Armani, has been included in the permanent film collection of MoMA in New York City.
Kirsten was accorded the Young Artist Award by the National Arts Council of Singapore and was nominated as a Singaporean of the Year by The Straits Times, Singapore’s national broadsheet. Other personal honors include Her World's Young Woman Achiever of the Year Award and a Great Woman of Our Time nomination by Women's Weekly. Kirsten was featured on CNN International’s flagship program, Ones to Watch, which 'shines a spotlight on up-and-coming international creative talents set to be the next big names in culture and the arts'.