Global streaming service Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to Sandi Tan’s feature doc Shirkers and doc short Zion.
Shirkers (pictured) is a documentary about the the production of an incomplete film. In 1992, director Tan shot Singapore’s first road movie with the help of American mentor Georges Cardonna, who disappeared with Tan’s footage. More than two decades later, the 16mm film is recovered and Tan, now a Los Angeles-based novelist, returns to the country of her youth and to the memories of Cardonna to explore the impact of this theft.
Shirkers bowed at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival where Tan picked up the Directing Award in World Cinema Documentary.
The doc will next be shown at the True/False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri on March 2.
“Shirkers speaks to a part of us that rarely get expressed—that bold spirit of making your own art regardless of the challenges,” said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix VP of original documentary programming, in a statement. “Sandi Tan has an exquisite, hypnotic story to tell, one that stretches from teenage rebellion to a kind of personal homecoming that all audiences can relate to.”
Additionally, Netflix has acquired Zion, a 10-minute film from Floyd Russ about Zion Clark — a young wrestler born without legs who grew up in foster care. Wrestling became a therapeutic outlet for Clark and gave him a sense of family and consistency in his life where he bounced around from foster home to foster home.
Both Shirkers and Zion will launch globally on Netflix later this year.