Anthony Chen

Anthony Chen
Chinese name 陳哲藝 (traditional)
Chinese name 陈哲艺 (simplified)
Born (1984-04-18) April 18, 1984

Anthony Chen (simplified Chinese: 陈哲艺; traditional Chinese: 陳哲藝) is a Singaporean film director and film producer. He found success with his debut feature film, Ilo Ilo (2013), which won the prestigious Camera d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. He also won the illustrious 50th Golden Horse Award for Best Feature Film and Best New Director.

Early life

Anthony Chen was born April 18, 1984, to Bernard and his spouse Joan (née Tai). Interested in film from a young age, Chen attended Nan Hua Primary School, The Chinese High School (now Hwa Chong Institution), and Ngee Ann Polytechnic. His graduating film from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, G-23 (2005), was screened in various international film festivals and won awards in France, Korea and Belgium.[2]


Short films

In 2007 and 2008, Chen went on to direct Ah Ma and Haze respectively. Both attracted favourable criticism.[3] Ah Ma was awarded a Special Mention in the short film competition at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, making it the first Singaporean film to win an award at the festival.

Following his mandatory conscription in the army, Chen was admitted to the National Film and Television School (NFTS) in the United Kingdom. Graduating in 2010, two of his short films, Distance and Lighthouse, were released that year. These were followed up with Karang Guni (2012) and Homesick (2013).[3]

Ilo Ilo (2013)

Ilo Ilo, Chen's first feature film, was released on August 29, 2013 in Singaporean theatres.[4] Chen served as director, producer, and writer.[5] According to Chen, the film was inspired by a real life maid who worked for Chen's family when he was a child.[6] After its world debut at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, Ilo Ilo received a fifteen-minute long "standing ovation" and earned Chen the coveted Camera d'Or.[7] Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong noted Chen's achievement, congratulating him and the film's cast on Facebook.[8]

On 19 October 2013, Ilo Ilo went on to win the Sutherland Trophy for the Best First Film at the London Film Festival. (The same night, one of Chen's tutors at NFTS, Pawel Pawlikowski, won the Best Film Award for Ida).[9]

With Ilo Ilo, Anthony Chen also made history by becoming the first Singaporean to win Best Film and Best New Director at the 50th Golden Horse Awards in Taipei. Chen also won Best Original Screenplay, while Yeo Yann Yann won Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film.[10][11]

For Ilo Ilo, Chen was named as one of Variety magazine's annual "10 Directors to Watch".[12]

After Ilo Ilo

In September 2015, it was announced that Distance, an "omnibus film" for which Chen served as executive producer and writer, will open the 2015 Golden Horse Film Festival in Taiwan. Distance consists of segments by the three directors Xin Yukun, Tan Shijie and Sivaroj Kongsakul, from China, Singapore and Thailand respectively.[13]

Personal life

In 2009, Chen married Rachel (née Yan), whom he met while staying in London in 2007.[3]


Short films

Feature films


External links

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