Anthony Chen’s first English feature film Drift to make world premiere at 2023 Sundance Film Festival

This is the first time a Singaporean director has been invited to screen their film in the Premieres section.

Benjamin Chew

Only drinks bubble tea with 100% sugar.

Published: 9 December 2022, 4:10 PM

Singaporean director Anthony Chen’s feature film Drift will make its world premiere in the prestigious Premieres section of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

Held from Jan 19 to 29 at Park City, Salt Lake City and Sundance Mountain Resort in Utah, the 2023 edition of the festival is the first time a Singaporean director has been invited to screen a film in the invitation-only Premieres section, which includes films based on their compelling stories or innovative approaches.

However, Chen is not the first local filmmaker to screen a film at the Sundance Film Festival. The last Singaporean filmmaker to screen a feature film at Sundance was Kirsten Tan, who screened her Singaporean-Thai drama film POP AYE back in 2017.

The Sundance Film Festival’s Premiere section has also seen the introduction of some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades to global audiences, including Call Me By Your Name, Boyhood, Manchester by the Sea, The Father, Promising Young Woman and Get Out.

Drift, Chen’s first English language feature film, stars Alia Shawkat and Oscar-nominated actress Cynthia Erivo. It follows the story of young Liberian refugee Jacqueline as she escapes to a Greek island and develops a deep connection with a tour guide, according to a press release by the Sundance Institute on Wednesday (Dec 7).

The film’s script was written by Susanne Farrell and Alexander Maksik, who adapted it from the latter’s novel A Marker to Measure Drift, and was produced by Chen, Cynthia Erivo, Solome Williams, Naima Abed, Peter Spears and Emilie Georges.

Besides Drift, Chen also recently produced Ajoomma, the debut feature film directed by Singaporean filmmaker He Shuming.

Georges and Spears both produced Luca Guadagnino’s Oscar-winning romance film Call Me By Your Name back in 2017, and the latter also produced Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland which won four awards at the 2021 Oscars.

You may like these