Ah Bee leaves his dull office job at a factory to join the Tiong Bahru Social Club—an exclusive data-driven pilot programme that aims to create the world’s happiest residents in the idyllic, pastel-hued neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru.
Employed as a happiness agent, Ah Bee is tasked with taking care of Ms Wee, a rebellious elderly resident who joined for the freebies. From looking for her cat to participating in group happiness exercises, it seems like the best job in the world.
However, he grows increasingly alienated and questions the cold, mechanical nature of achieving happiness, where every happiness agent is at risk of being replaced if they do not contribute enough to the community’s overall happiness index.
Tan Bee Thiam’s offbeat satirical comedy takes a whimsical and soft sci-fi approach to poke funat Singapore’s preoccupation with results-driven practicalities. In a society where everything—including happiness—is quantified and managed, tender moments in which vulnerabilities are revealed become radical acts that forge real bonds and rupture the veneer of an enforced happiness.
Tan Bee Thiam
NC16 (Some Sexual References 些许性相关语)
English, Cantonese, Mandarin,
Hokkien, Malay, Tamil
SGIFF Commissioned Short Newborn will be screened together with Tiong Bahru Social Club as the Festival Opening
Total Runtime: 100mins
26 Nov 2020, Thursday, 7:00pm
26 Nov 2020, Thursday, 8:00pm
The screening is over. Thank you for joining us!
Tan Bee Thiam is a Singaporean producer, writer and director who has worked on multiple award-winning films.
A founding member of independent film collective 13 Little Pictures, Tan co-directed Fundamentally Happy (2016) with Lei Yuan Bin and produced Snakeskin (2015) and As You Were (2014), among other local films. Tiong Bahru Social Club is his solo directorial debut.
Cast & Crew
Goh Guat Kian
Tan Bee Thiam
Tiger Tiger Pictures
Director: Nir Bergman
An uplifting drama about a father’s love for his son and the difficulties of letting go.
Director: Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh
In this moving magic-realist tale, a teenage boy copes with the loss of his beloved community and home with gravity-defying means.
Director: Chulayarnnon Siriphol
A tongue-in-cheek docufiction that turns authenticity on its head in this interrogation of centralised power.