Independent creative agency Superson Singapore’s managing partner Antti Toivonen’s new feature film collaboration with Singaporean filmmaker, Tan Bee Thiam, is set to have its world premiere at the 25th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF). The absurdist comedy, titled ‘Tiong Bahru Social Club’, is co-written and co-produced by Toivonen, together with the film’s director Tan Bee Thiam.
Busan International Film Festival, one of the most prestigious festivals in Asia, honours the most talented and established storytellers in Asia.
Headquartered in Helsinki and founded by an ex-Red Bull marketer Samppa Vilkuna, Superson taps into the sharing economy, and operates without a fixed in-house creative department. Instead, it works with a collective of trusted freelance creative consultants and marketing professionals.
Superson Singapore’s clients include Google, Unilever CLEAR, Singtel International, Wärtsilä Acceleration Center, and a number of sustainability and fintech clients.
In tune with Superson’s business model, Toivonen, who heads the agency in the region, is a specialist in content creation and international brand storytelling.
On top of his commercial recognitions from international advertising award shows, Toivonen’s works, including ‘F*ing Bunnies’ (2017) and ‘Are You Hungry’ (2020), have screened at over 100 film festivals around the world and have been twice selected to compete at the Sundance Film Festival.
Slated to premier at BIFF in October, the film ‘Tiong Bahru Social Club’ is a stylised comedy that follows a 30-year old millennial on his journey to find his purpose in life. His quest leads him to Tiong Bahru Social Club, a real-estate technology company that aims to create the happiest neighbourhood in the world, with the help of a constantly learning algorithm.
Antti Toivonen commented, “This project is a testament to our model at Superson. We cast creatives for each project according to their skills and passions, because we believe that working on passion projects brings out the best in people. Many of our specialists are published authors, lecturers or do their own design exhibitions. I’m a storyteller at heart and when I work with brands, I create content that puts audience enjoyment as the main priority. It’s important to put your craft to test at times and see if you can actually make something people love.”
The film’s director, Tan Bee Thiam, spoke about the inspiration of the film. “We pushed the creative needle a lot, giving the iconic neighbourhood a fantastical spin. We set out to create a quirky and visually striking story, drawing inspiration from the essence of Tiong Bahru – as well as from the way companies use data and analytics to optimise their customer experience.”
Toivonen continued, “Bee Thiam is a visionary director and it’s refreshing when a commercial mind like myself, and an artist come together. Getting selected for a world premiere in Busan, a top tier A-list festival, is a recognition in itself. Singaporean films have done well in the international circuit over the past years and we hope these kinds of feats garner more interest in local storytelling and the arts.“
BIFF programmer, Park Sungho, added, “The whimsical, imaginative world of ‘Tiong Bahru Social Club’ took us by surprise and we are excited to be the first to introduce it to international audiences. It’s a refreshing film with a strong vision, a very unique piece. We could feel the team had fun making this movie.”
Produced by Huang Junxiang with Tiger Tiger Pictures, Bert Pictures, 13 Little Pictures, in association with WBSB Film and Uncle Auntie and Friends, ‘Tiong Bahru Social Club’ is slated for release later this year.