Singapore’s award-winning film at the Cannes Film Festival opens in cinemas this weekend
On May 27, a film called Ilo Ilo made cinematic history by becoming the first Singaporean feature film to win a major prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Ilo Ilo and director Anthony Chen claimed the coveted Camera d’Or prize at the 66th Cannes Film Festival. The news of the win rapidly made waves throughout Singapore, and stirred greater interest.
Now, the highly anticipated award-winning film is finally opening in cinemas in Singapore.
A Familiar Scenario?
Ilo Ilo is Director Anthony Chen’s feature film debut, after eight short films. Ilo Ilo revolves around the story of a Singaporean family in 1997, which was the beginning of the Asian Financial Crisis, and their newly-arrived maid, Teresa.
Like many other Filipino women, she came to Singapore in search of employment and a better life. Unfortunately, her presence in the family worsens the already strained relationships.
Nonetheless, Jiale, the young and troublesome son, starts to form a unique bond with Teresa, who soon becomes an unspoken part of the family.
The film boasts a small but impressive cast including veteran TV actor Chen Tian Wen, acclaimed actress Yeo Yann Yann of 881 and other films, and Filipino actress Angeli Bayani who has gained international recognition for her films.
At the recent press conference, last week, it was revealed that Yeo getting pregnant prompted a panic and that Chen was even in discussion to replace her. Yeo reveals that she convinced Chen that she could still do the job and that her bodily appearance would not change too much.
“I told him that even though I am pregnant, my body will still remain the same,” she laughed.
Chen laughed and acknowledged that she was so convincing that he decided to keep her in the cast.
Another revelation was that Koh Jia Ler, who makes his film debut playing the young boy of the family, was not actually selected for the auditions.
Apparently, he had snuck in to have a look when he followed his friend.
Providentially, he ended up auditioning and got the role.
Ilo Ilo is presented by the Singapore Film Commission and Ngee Ann Polytechnic, and is produced by Fisheye Pictures. It is distributed by Golden Village Pictures in Singapore.
Ilo Ilo [PG13]
Director: Anthony Chen
Starring: Yeo Yann Yann, Chen Tian Wen, Angeli Bayani and
Koh Jia Ler
Run Time: 100 min
Release: Aug 29