Sarawakian Cheyenne Tan, fellow filmmakers thrilled at Oscar nomination for documentary

15 Jan 2020 / 12:32 H.

KUCHING: Sarawakian Cheyenne Tan and her fellow filmmakers for the Oscar-nominated documentary St Louis Superman are thrilled about the nomination that was announced on Monday.

She stressed that the film’s success exists solely because of the “storytelling superpowers” of Bruce Franks Jr., the subject of their short documentary.

“We are profoundly grateful to have been able to work with Bruce to tell his story.

“We share this honour with Bruce and our whole film making team including our champions at MTV Documentary Films and AJE Witness. At a critical moment for our democracy, Bruce’s activism couldn’t be more urgent,” she said today.

The team also extended their appreciation to the Academy for recognising the film and Bruce’s work.

Tan, a former SMK St Mary’s student, made history as the first Sarawakian to have a film nominated for an Oscar.

St Louis Superman — the film she co-produced — is among five titles nominated for the ‘Documentary Short Subject Category’ of the 92nd Academy Awards.

Fellow Malaysian Poh Si Teng was also a producer of the documentary. She is an Emmy-nominated director, and also a commissioner and senior producer for Al Jazeera English’s flagship documentary strand Witness. Born and raised in Penang, she currently lives in Washington D.C.

The documentary was directed by Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan, who are both seasoned filmmakers with many accolades to their names.

St Louis Superman follows the struggles of 34-year-old Bruce Franks Jr., a Ferguson activist and battle rapper who was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives, which was overwhelmingly white and Republican.

Known as Superman to his constituents, Bruce was forced to deal with the trauma he has been carrying for nearly 30 years, ever since his nine-year-old older brother was shot and killed in front of him. Only by confronting his pain can he find peace and truly fulfill his destiny as a leader for his community.

The half-hour documentary trails Bruce at a critical juncture in his life where he must overcome both personal trauma and political obstacles to pass a Bill pivotal to his community.

St Louis Superman has won several awards at international film festivals last year and it was acquired by the legendary Sheila Nevins-led MTV Documentary Films for distribution in the United States.

For the complete list of nominations in this year’s Academy Awards, visit

The awards ceremony will be held on Feb 9 at the Dolby Theatre of Hollywood & Highland Centre in Hollywood. It will go live on the ABC Television Network and will be also televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide. — TheBorneoPost

email blast