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Netflix announced Wednesday that it has acquired worldwide rights to Sandi Tan’s documentary feature “Shirkers,” which won the Directing Award in World Cinema Documentary following its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. The film screened to great acclaim and will next be shown at the True/False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri, on March 2.
An inspired labor of love for zine-making teens Sandi Tan, Jasmine Ng and Sophie Siddique, “Shirkers” was a Singapore-made 1992 cult classic — or it would have been, had the 16mm footage not been stolen by their enigmatic American collaborator Georges Cardona, who disappeared.
More than two decades later, Tan, now a novelist in L.A., returns to the country of her youth and to the memories of a man who both enabled and thwarted her dreams. Magically, too, she returns to the film itself, revived in a way she never could have imagined.
Netflix also announced Wednesday that it has acquired “Zion,” a 10-minute film directed by Floyd Russ about a young wrestler who was born without legs and finds acceptance and community within the world of wrestling.
Clark, who grew up in foster care, began wrestling in second grade against his able-bodied peers. The physical challenge became a therapeutic outlet and gave him a sense of family. Moving from foster home to foster home, wrestling became the only constant thing in his childhood.
Josh Braun of Submarine negotiated the “Shirkers” deal on behalf of the filmmakers.