Kino Lorber acquires North American rights to Kirsten Tan’s POP AYE


After the film’s world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival in the World Dramatic section.

Last Updated: January 24, 2017 5:07 pm GMT
(New York, NY--January 24, 2017) Kino Lorber has acquired all North American rights to Kirsten Tan’s debut feature POP AYE, after the film’s world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival in the World Dramatic section. A road movie set in Thailand, POP AYE tells the story of an over-the-hill architect and his attempt to bring his long-lost elephant back to their rural hometown. Written and directed by Singaporean writer-director Kirsten Tan, currently based in New York, POP AYE was the opening night title in the World Dramatic section and has gathered strong reviews since its first screening on January 19.

The deal was negotiated between Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber and Sébastien Chesneau, Senior Partner at Cercamon, the film’s sales agent. The company is planning to bring POP AYE to North American theaters during the summer, before a VOD and physical media release later this year.

Director Kirsten Tan said: “My producers and I have long admired the library of Kino Lorber. We are very excited for POP AYE to be in the company of wonderful films such as Dogtooth, Days of Being Wild, and Jafar Panahi’s Taxi. We look forward to sharing the film with US audiences.”

"POP AYE is currently charming Park City,” wrote Sébastien Chesneau in a prepared statement. “It's a pleasure to see such warm reactions from distributors all over the world. We look forward to be working with our friends at Kino Lorber on the North American release of the film."

Richard Lorber added, “POP AYE is poetically profound but the elephant in the room is really its warm heart. We're immensely pleased to be working with such an original talent in Kirsten Tan on this audience charmer. No one can resist falling in love with her screen star, the two ton Pop Aye."

Official Sundance Synopsis – POP AYE
Thana, a once-illustrious architect, drifts ever further into existential crisis, propelled by the impending demolition of his proudest work and his wife’s waning romantic interest. Unexpectedly running into his long-lost childhood “pet” elephant Popeye, performing in the streets of Bangkok, spurs Thana on a quest across Thailand to return his displaced friend to rural Loei, the small village where they grew up. As the unlikely travelers saunter at elephant speed, they encounter fellow lost souls, like a gas station vagabond yearning for his first love and a lonely karaoke singer aching for a friend, who encourage them as a series of unfortunate mishaps impede their journey.

Pop Aye is a humane ode to the power of simple acts of kindness in a world of lost innocence and missed opportunities, punctuated by well-timed bursts of deadpan absurdity. Director Kirsten Tan, in her impressive feature debut, deftly weaves the poignance and humor of Popeye and Thana’s journey with a series of indelibly beautiful cinematic images of the film’s gigantic star in this lyrical road-trip dramedy.

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About Writer / Director Kirsten Tan:
Kirsten Tan’s work has screened at film festivals in Singapore, Rotterdam, Toronto, and Busan. Spotlighted by CNN’s "Ones to Watch," she has received numerous international awards, including best Southeast Asian short film (Dahdi, 2014) at the Singapore International Film Festival, and Ella was entered into MoMA’s permanent film collection. Her debut feature, Pop Aye, was developed at Berlinale Talents Program, Cannes Atelier, and TorinoFilmLab. Pop Aye will premiere in competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

About Kino Lorber:
With a library of 1,500 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for over 30 years, releasing over 25 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Classics, and Alive Mind Cinema banners, including five Academy Award nominated films in the last eight years. In addition, the company brings over 250 titles each year to the home entertainment market through physical and digital media releases under its five house brands. It also now distributes a growing number of third party labels in all ancillary media and is a direct digital distributor to all major digital platforms including iTunes, Netflix, HULU, Filmstruck, Tribeca Shortlist, Amazon, Vimeo, VHX, Fandor, Mubi and others.


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