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Director Anthony Chen hopes his Ilo Ilo Cast Wins Awards!

By InCinemas  /  26 Aug 2013 (Monday)

Director of award-winning film, Ilo Ilo, Anthony Chen together with the cast members Yeo Yann Yann, Chen Tian Wen, Angeli Bayani and Koh Jia Ler attended the press conference held at the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands.

We first heard of this movie in May when news about Ilo Ilo having a 15-minute standing ovation during the premiere screening at the Cannes Film Festival. Not long after, director Anthony Chen accepted the Camera d’Or award, the first time a Singapore film winning an award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

(Read our interview with Anthony Chen about his win!)

After months of waiting, Singapore fans are able to watch the movie as it opens in cinemas this Thursday, 29 August!

(View Showtimes & Book your tickets here!)

When asked about the casting process, veteran actor Chen Tian Wen admitted he was initially afraid if the film would be able to do well as it wasn’t a kind of film that Singaporeans were looking for. Yeo on the other hand was thrilled when she heard about Chen’s new film and immediately agreed to audition for the role as the mother.

Not long later, Chen recounted the moment when Yeo called him in the middle of the night when he was in London about a news he almost re-casted her. Yeo jokingly said that Chen was one of the first few to be informed about her pregnancy, even before her parents. “Director, I have a good and bad news to tell you. I’m pregnant,” Yeo recalled.

After much convincing from Yeo, Chen re-wrote the script as a pregnant mother instead, but both agreed that during her actual pregnancy, Chen will film her delivery, which can be seen at the end of the film.

First-time child actor Koh Jia Ler definitely made an impression as the mischievous school boy in Ilo Ilo. Though he appeared shy and quiet during the press conference, Koh revealed that he was not in the initial selected pool of students who had to go through workshop trainings.

“He actually went to ask the casting director if he could join as his friends were in it (workshops). It was a grueling process to find the child actor,” Chen added.

When it came to difficulties and challenging scenes, actress Angeli Bayani cited that the two harder scenes for her were touching the chickens and hanging the laundry. As hanging the laundry was something she had not done before, she mentioned that it was a new experience and was genuinely afraid of dropping the bamboo from the window.

Bayani played Teresa, also known as ‘Auntie Terry’ where the character was inspired by Chen’s real-life helper who served the family a long time ago. Ilo Ilo managed to reunite Chen with ‘Auntie Terry’ and the latter also attended the gala screening held at the Marina Bay Sands where Guest-Of-Honour President Tony Tan graced the event.

Ilo Ilo screened at many film festivals and will be participating in the upcoming Golden Horse Awards, in hopes that Ilo Ilo might bring glory to Singapore. “As a director, I will feel a sense of accomplishment if my actors are nominated or awarded,” Chen said.

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