Private Project

The Man Who Can't Smile

A man with a sad face is often misunderstood by others in his daily life. He undergoes a surgery to give himself a permanent smile. This is a whimsical silent film accompanied by orchestral music.

  • Jacen TAN
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  • Runtime:
    16 minutes
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Distribution Information
  • Viddsee
    Country: Singapore
Director Biography - Jacen TAN

Named ”Singapore’s latest film funnyman” by The Straits Times, Jacen combined his love for horror comedy and his experiences from serving in the army to make his first feature film, Zombiepura. Released theatrically in Singapore and Southeast Asia, Zombiepura then premiered on Netflix South Korea and was the number one iTunes movie in Singapore.

Jacen was the first to define ‘viral video’ in Singapore with his short film, Tak Giu (Kick Ball), crashing internet servers.

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Director Statement

This film is inspired by my ‘resting b*tch face’. When I was younger, I didn’t smile so much. People often thought that I was sad, tired, or unapproachable. I soon realised that it could have been my face. I thought, what if I had a permanent smiley face?

As I developed the story, I found out that there are people with a rare condition known as Moebius Syndrome. They can’t control their facial muscles and have a real inability to smile.

This film is a metaphor for people who face struggles fitting into society.