Overseas Filipino through the Eyes of a Singaporean Film Director.
Singaporean Anthony Chen’s first feature film will make its debut at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival next month.
The film stars actress Yeo Yann Yann, television veteran Chen Tian Wen and Filipino actress Angeli Bayani. The latter is known for her roles in auteur Lav Diaz’s films.
29-year-old Chen was previously nominated for the Palme d’Or for Short Film in 2006 and scored a first for a Singaporean filmmaker after being awarded a Special Mention for short film “Ah Ma”.
“Ilo Ilo is inspired by my childhood – through vignettes and moments of the people close to me. I am grateful that for my first feature, I have the opportunity to make a film that begins at home,” Chen said in a statement.
Chen said that his experience being raised by a Filipino maid shaped his understanding of the film he created.
“I believe the universal experience of children growing up with maids is one of having a “surrogate” mother, a friend and confidant. An entire generation of children has grown up in the hands of maids,” said Chen.
Set in the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Ilo Ilo chronicles the relationship between the Lim family and their new maid, Teresa, who threatens to worsen already-strained family ties. Things change when Jiale, the youngest and troublesome son in the family, forms a unique bond with Teresa and she begins to integrate into the family’s life.