Yen Tan

Writer-director Yen Tan‘s latest film is the poignant AIDS drama 1985, starring Corey Michael Smith, Virginia Madsen and Michael Chiklis; it was inspired by Tan’s Short of the Week of the same title, which won a Special Jury Award at SXSW 2016. Tan’s previous feature, the critically acclaimed Pit Stop, premiered at Sundance 2013 and was nominated for a John Cassavetes Awards at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards. His 2008 feature, Ciao, was a Queer Lion contender at Venice Film Festival. Yen also co-directed Until We Could (2014) with David Lowery, an Addy-winning PSA for Freedom to Marry that was narrated by Robin Wright and Ben Foster. He was born and raised in Malaysia and now lives in Austin, where he also works as an award-winning key art designer for independent films and documentaries. (Image by HutcH.)


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Reclaiming the Narrative is a Work in Progress

By Yen Tan | November 5, 2019

Reclaiming the Narrative is a Work in Progress

Writer-director Yen Tan on his how his cultural identity has shifted since coming to the U.S., and what it means for him to make Asian-American films.

Darker Before They Get Brighter

By Yen Tan | October 25, 2018

Darker Before They Get Brighter

Director Yen Tan on growing up gay in Malaysia, his journey in America, and how it all relates to his poignant AIDS drama 1985.