Short Film: AN ISLAND DRIFTS, 18min., Singapore, Drama

Directed by Vivian Ip
Set in Singapore, a young teacher presses for the truth from a maladjusted student, the act leads to devastating results and they suffer the ignominy of losing everything that matters to them. The story holds a mirror up to society, where a mistake can derail a life in an overly pressurized world.

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News & Reviews

Director Biography – Vivian Ip

Vivian Ip is a writer, director and producer, from Singapore. She holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honors from Durham University (United Kingdom) and worked as a corporate lawyer for four years.

She has since adapted her legal skills to filmmaking and graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts on an Entertainment Partners scholarship. She is also a member of the BAFTA Los Angeles Newcomers Program and an alumna of the ARRI Support and Education (ARRIse) Program.

Most recently, she made her directorial debut with her graduate thesis film An Island Drifts (2021), filmed with love in her home country. In addition, she produced Headlock (2020), a Student Academy Awards finalist, an official selection in Dances with Films and Urbanworld Film Festival, and a USC First Look winner in the Social Change category, whereupon she also received the Best Producing Award.

Her filmmaking practice is centered on exploring the human condition, as well as bringing authentic and underrepresented voices to the forefront.

Director Statement

Through a realistic lens, AN ISLAND DRIFTS gives audiences an intimate glimpse into the lives of those who experience pressing expectations and insurmountable pressure, where second chances are hard to come by and one mistake could ruin everything. In the end, it hopes to show what happens when the heart longs to fix something broken, that can no longer remain perfect.

The overarching theme is individual versus society, where too much pressure is the norm, in both applying it and the resulting breakdowns it causes. Where a mistake can derail a life in an overly pressurized world, a person may be complicit or his actions may contribute to another’s despair.

AN ISLAND DRIFTS is made for anyone with a lot on their plate, who has fallen through the cracks and has lost out in a rigorous system, or is in need of a second chance. When the adult in us becomes disillusioned by the realization that life is not easy, and is often missing the happiness and comfort a younger version of ourselves once promised we would find.

My intention is not to present these themes in a didactic fashion or with moral instruction but to ask real questions about complex social dynamics, challenge assumptions or reframe mainstream discourse in a society like Singapore. Everyone can take away something different, and give strength to those who have lost hope in themselves. To others who cannot imagine being in this state of mind and emotion, hopefully now they can better understand those who do.

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