Ilo Ilo wins four more awards

Ilo Ilo wins four more awards
Ilo Ilo director Anthony Chen with the awards won by the film in Hungary. Source: Objectifs
And local director Anthony Chen is predictably astounded
Published: 1:01 PM, September 22, 2013
Updated: 8:57 AM, October 22, 2013

SINGAPORE — Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo does Singapore proud once again as it continued its festival-winning streak. This time, the film swept three major awards at the 10th Jameson CineFest Miskolc International Festival in Hungary, and captured the Best Actor award at the 9th Eurasia Film Festival in Kazakhstan.

With Director Chen in attendance, Ilo Ilo bagged the Grand Jury prize, the FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) prize and the International Ecumenical Jury prize at the Jameson CineFest, Hungary’s leading film festival. With its haul of wins, Ilo Ilo became the festival’s most awarded film.

The Cannes Film Festival Camera d’Or winning film beat Hollywood heavyweights competing in the International Category — notably Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon, starring Julianne Moore and Scarlett Johansson, as well as Margin Call director JC Chandor’s All Is Lost, starring Robert Redford.

“The three prizes in Hungary were awarded by separate juries and they all told me how they were moved and impressed by the film,” Chen told TODAY via telephone while waiting for his London-bound plane at the Hungary airport. “There is indeed this universal quality about our very Singaporean film that really transcends cultures and borders, that has astounded even me.”

The panel, which awarded the Grand Jury prize (also known as The Adolph Zukor prize), praised Ilo Ilo “for the extraordinary performances of an ensemble cast, supporting a highly cinematic vision of loneliness among family members in the heart of contemporary metropolis”.

The FIPRESCI award is given out at many prestigious film festivals including Cannes, Toronto and Venice. It rewards what the international association of professional film critics and film journalists see as enterprising film making.

At the 9th international film festival Eurasia, first time child actor Koh Jia Ler won the Best Actor award. Oscar and Palme d’Or winner Jane Campion headed a jury that included award-winning Filipino film director Brillante Mendoza.

Said Chen: “Of course I am so proud of Jia Ler, he was selected out of thousands and worked really hard, particularly for someone who had no acting experience at all; it was nice that he was given a real pat on the shoulder.”

Coming right off the back of their recent triumph at Russia’s Pacific Meridian Film Festival last week, this winning streak bodes extremely well for the local film as it continues in its bid to become the first Singaporean film to be nominated for (and possibly win) an Oscar.

The intimate family drama which also stars Chen Tian Wen and Yeo Yann Yann plays next at the Pusan International Film Festival next month.

Ilo Ilo is in cinemas now.