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Award-winning Singapore film-maker Kirsten Tan shoots second ad for Giorgio Armani

SINGAPORE — Award-winning Singaporean film-maker Kirsten Tan has followed up on the success of her debut feature film, Pop Aye, with a short film for Giorgio Armani.

Award-winning Singapore filmmaker Kirsten Tan co-directed Stop and See, the new Giorgio Armani Frames Of Life campaign for Fall/Winter 2017/18.  Photo: Kirsten Tan

Award-winning Singapore filmmaker Kirsten Tan co-directed Stop and See, the new Giorgio Armani Frames Of Life campaign for Fall/Winter 2017/18. Photo: Kirsten Tan

SINGAPORE — Award-winning Singaporean film-maker Kirsten Tan has followed up on the success of her debut feature film, Pop Aye, with a short film for Giorgio Armani.

Tan, 36, co-directed Stop And See with Mexican director and cinematographer Pepe Avila del Pino, as part of the fashion house’s “Frames of Life” eyewear advertising campaign for Fall/Winter 2017-18. 

The three-minute long film follows the life of three young characters — two males and a female — in the streets of Lisbon. Set against a lyrical flow of high-paced black-and-white images, a female voice reflects on the relentless pursuit of modern existence and urges one to “stop and see” instead.

The voice-over quotes “What if we stopped completely?” and each character stops to appreciate the natural landscape that surrounds them, reflected in the lenses of their Giorgio Armani sunglasses.

According to Tan, Giorgio Armani took a huge chance with their team, something she thinks is less likely to happen in Singapore.

“When it comes to hiring creatives, I get a sense that international brands like Armani are more daring in taking risks,” Tan told TODAY. “They look mostly at the work itself and if they’re into it, they don’t care who you are, where you’re from, or how old you are — they’re more willing to take chances.”

“In Singapore, I have a feeling that a proven track record still seems to matter more than anything else,” she added.

The New York-based film-maker said she enjoys her foray into high fashion commercials, and this is her second commercial for the fashion house. She also took part in the first edition of the “Films Of City Frames” campaign while still a NYU Tisch School of the Arts student in 2014.

“High fashion commercial is liberating because it is pure aesthetics, free from certain narrative conventions ... It helps me exercise my muscle in image-making,” she said. “That’s the beauty of these international collaborations though — everyone is from everywhere that no one is really an outsider. On a film set, we may speak different languages but there is a common cinematic language that brings people together.

“On a more practical level, three years of making Pop Aye has left me financially dry and so I do commercials from time to time to keep me afloat,” Tan added.

Her feature film, Pop Aye, won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival and the VPRO Big Screen Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam earlier this year.

It was shot entirely in Thailand and tells the story of two misfits who go on a road trip together: An architect past his prime, Thana, played by veteran Thai singer-songwriter Thaneth Warakulnukroh, and his displaced street elephant.

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