Zhao Wei Films 15 (2003)

15 (2003)

15 (2010)
Feature Film

Directed by:
Royston Tan

Written by:
Royston Tan

Executive Producers:
James Toh
Jacqueline Khoo
Lim Ching Leong

Produced by:
Eric Khoo
Tan Fong Cheng

Freddie Yeo
Mabelyn Ow

Shaun Tan
Melvin Chen
Vynn Soh
Erick Chun
Melvin Lee

Cinematography by:
Lim Ching Leong

Music by:
Yellow Box

Art Director:
Daniel Lim

Edited by:
Jeff Stevens
Nigel Fernandez
Darlene Lim
Azhar Ismon

Distributed by:
Shaw Organization

Release date:
27 April 2003

Running time:
96 minutes


Go to film's website


  • FIPRESCI Award, Singapore Film Festival

  • Special Jury Prize, Deauville Film Festival

  • Best Director Award, Signis Special Mention award

  • Buenos Aires 6th International Film Festival

  • St. Paul International Film Festival 2005

  • New York Queer Experimental Media Festival 2005

  • Reel Affirmations Film Festival 2005

  • Sundance Film Festival 2004

  • Venice International Film Festival 2003

  • 16th Singapore International Film Festival

  • Vancouver International Film Festival 2003

  • Pusan International Film Festival 2003

  • Montreal World Film Festival 2003

  • London Film Festival 2003

  • Stockholm International Film Festival 2003

  • Gijon International Film Festival 2003

  • Bangkok International Film Festival

  • Hong Kong International Film Festival

  • Sydney Film Festival

  • San Francisco International Film Festival

  • Asian American Film Festival

  • Los Angeles Asian Pacific FIlm Festival

  • WAVES Asian/American Film Festival (Iowa)

  • Outfest Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

  • 10th Lyon Asian Film and Cultural Festival

15 is the best film to come out of Singapore in years
Bryan Walsh

Tan is one of Asia’s most promising talents …
Derek Malcolm
The Guardian

Royston Tan shows us a dark side of Singapore with his dazzling slice into the psyches of frustrated schoolboys in the punkish feature 15!
David J. Lamble
Bay Area Reporter

15 is a harrowing picture by the rebellious young Royston Tan about the nihilistic lives of five teenagers in his native Singapore.
Philip French
The Observer

Amazingly realistic performances…15 isn’t easy to sit through, but there are ample rewards.
V.A. Musetto
New York Post



The adventure of five fifteen year old boys in Singapore: estranged to every social reference, except for that of appearance and close friendships, they live their lives distant from their families and school, passing their days in a complete state of indolence in the search of experiences, at times even physically painful (tattoos, piercing, wounds). Their imaginary is completely colonized by MTV, cartoons, electronic jingles, publicity and comics.

About the Film

Interpreted by street-kids that belong to the group they represent, this audacious and disturbing first work by the twenty-six year old Royston Tan explores an adolescent world, dramatically marked by the conflictual under-culture and complete addiction to video clip and videogame aesthetics. The existential suburban hardship, compared to the bright “western” and “English speaking” metropolis, is consumed through moving and desperate dialogues inscribed in a progression of disturbing sequences, similar to short sketches that slowly reconstruct the relational, psychological and family dynamics of the five boys. A sincere and lyrical film but at the same time irreverent, scandalous and extreme, an expression of Singapore cinema, unknown and emerging.