Kirsten Tan’s debut feature-length film Popeye (working title) began filming earlier last month in Thailand.

Produced by Lai Weijie (Distance) and executive produced by Anthony Chen (Ilo Ilo, Distance), the film stars veteran Thai singer-songwriter Thaneth Warakulnukroh, as a disenchanted architect who bumps into his long-lost elephant on the streets of Bangkok. Excited, he takes his elephant on a redemptive journey across Thailand, in search of the farm where they grew up together – only to discover the truth about himself and the life he callously left behind.

“It’s been exciting working with Kirsten on her debut feature, especially with the current spotlight on Singapore Cinema,” Chen said during his recent visit to the set. “We really look forward to launching this film next year.”

Popeye was previously invited to Berlinale Talents, Cannes L’Atelier, and TorinoFilmLab, where it received the 2014 Production Award. The project was also a recipient of the Media Development Authority of Singapore’s New Talent Feature Grant. Popeye is expected to wrap principal photography in June.

Kirsten Tan’s works have been showcased at film festivals in Singapore, Rotterdam, Toronto, Busan as well as the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival. She has received over ten international awards and is a four-time Silver Screen Award Nominee at the Singapore International Film Festival, where she won Best Southeast Asian Film for Dahdi (2014), Best Director for Fonzi (2007), and Special Jury Prize for 10 Minutes Later (2006). Her upcoming feature, Popeye, was selected for Berlinale Talent’s Script Station 2014, TorinoFilmLab’s Framework Program 2014, where it was awarded the Top Prize, and Cannes Film Festival L’Atelier 2015.