For teenager Sandi Tan in Singapore in 1992, her film-lover’s dream quickly turned to a nightmare. She and her two friends embarked on writing and producing the country’s first road movie, Shirkers—until her mysterious mentor-director, Georges Cardona, stole the 16mm footage and tauntingly withheld it. A true cinephile, Tan wrote the screenplay and starred as the teenage assassin: She was inspired by the early American independent film movement and French New Wave, and the film’s unnerving, original score echoes the ingenuity of those periods. Now, recounting this time in her documentary Shirkers, Tan uniquely arranges video footage and materials from an impressive personal paper archive, mixing in modern interviews with the same filmmaking friends, whose hilarious and often biting commentaries invigorate the love between them. When the lost footage shows up on Tan’s doorstep two decades later, she is compelled to set out on a mission to find Georges’s whereabouts. Shirkers is a quirky, nostalgic, and cathartic diary, whose bright ode to cinema and moving story of friendship and failure are the ultimate lesson in reconciliation—with oneself.  KR

Q&A following screening


Sandi Tan


Sandi Tan, Jessica Levin, Maya Rudolph


Sandi Tan, Lucas Celler, Kimberley Hassett; Consulting Editor: Enat Sidi


Iris Ng

Release Year


Festival Year



United States

Run Time

96 minutes


Partially subtitled