Anthony Chen

Writer/Director

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Photograph: Jason Ho

Film, TV & Theatre

Assistant: Nick Hitchcock

Film, TV & Theatre

Born in Singapore, Anthony Chen enrolled in Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Film and Media Studies at the early age of 17 to pursue his passion for filmmaking. He graduated from film school with his short film G-23 which screened at festivals worldwide, and won multiple awards in Europe and Asia. His second short AH MA (GRANDMA) was nominated for the Palme d’Or for Short Film at the 60th Cannes Film Festival, and won a Special Mention - the first ever award for Singapore at Cannes. HAZE marked his third short film and was nominated for a Golden Bear (Short Film) at the 58th Berlin International Film Festival. Collectively his shorts have screened at numerous prestigious film festivals including Cannes, Berlin, Rotterdam, Busan, London, Sao Paulo, Stockholm, Sydney, Montreal, Melbourne, Chicago and Hawaii. In 2009 he was accorded the Young Artist Award, one of the most prestigious accolades for the arts in Singapore, awarded by the National Arts Council of Singapore. In 2010, Chen completed his MA in Film Directing at the National Film and Television School in the UK with a scholarship from the Media Development Authority of Singapore.
 
Chen’s debut feature ILO ILO debuted in Directors’ Fortnight at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and was unanimously awarded the Camera d’Or, making history again as the first Singapore feature to be awarded at Cannes. ILO ILO went on to gain widespread acclaim and recognition when it became an arthouse favourite, winning forty awards internationally, including four Golden Horse Awards at the 50th Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan, the equivalent of the Oscars for Chinese-speaking people worldwide. Under a jury presided by Ang Lee the film also won the coveted Best Picture prize, beating auteurs such as Wong Kar Wai, Jia Zhangke, Johnnie To and Tsai Ming Liang.  ILO ILO was also Singapore’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards. In addition to its critical acclaim, the film also performed well at the box office in Europe and Asia. In Singapore it was the third highest grossing local film in 2013, and became the most successful arthouse film in the history of Singapore cinema both commercially and critically.
 
Anthony was named as one of Variety magazine’s ‘10 Directors to Watch’ in 2014. The same year he was also awarded the prestigious Singapore Youth Award. Anthony recently launched Giraffe Pictures in Singapore, a boutique film company with an aim to nurture and develop new voices in Singapore and Asia.
 
Anthony's latest film, WET SEASON, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019. 
 
 

In Development

ProductionCompanyNotes

WHEN WE WERE ORPHANS

2019

Caryn Mandabach Productions

TV adaption of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel When We Were Orphans. Co-written by Kristen Xinru Ong

NOTES FROM AN EXHIBITION

2019

Potboiler / Film4

Adapted by Helen Edmundson from the book NOTES FROM AN EXHIBITION by Patrick Gale

Film

ProductionCompanyNotes

WET SEASON

2019

Giraffe Pictures / Memento Films

Original Feature. Wet Season follows the plight of Ling, a Chinese language teacher, whose marriage and school life are fraying apart because she is unable to bear a child. But an unlikely friendship with a student helps her reaffirm her identity. Winner of the Cinephilia Critics' Award at the Fei Mu Awards 2019. Winner of the Best Film at the London East Asia Film Festival 2019. Nominated for six Golden Horse Awards including Best Narrative Feature, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay

ILO ILO

2013

Fisheye Pictures/Singapore Film Commission/Memento

ILO ILO won the Camera d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and was selected as Singapore's official entry for the Oscars. The film also won the Next Masters prize at the Tokyo Filmex Film Festival; the Sutherland Prize for Best First Feature at LFF; Best Feature, Best Actress and the NETPAC Award at the Pacific Meridian Film Festival; Best Feature, Best Screenplay, Best New Director and Best Supporting Actress at the Taiwan Golden Horse Awards; the Grand Jury Prize, FIPRESCI Prize and International Ecumenical Jury Prize at the Jameson CineFest Miskolc International Festival, Hungary; Best Director and Best Actress Awards at the Mumbai Film Festival; Best Narrative Feature at the Philadelphia Film Festival; winner of the New Talent Award at the Hong Kong Asia Film Festival; Best Feature award at Molodist International Film Festival, Ukraine; and the Achievement in Direction Award at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards

DISTANCE

2016

Giraffe Pictures

Executive producer and co-writer. DISTANCE brings together three different stories that revolve around abandoned paternal love, friendship and love between generations.

Short Films

ProductionCompanyNotes

Karung Guni

2012

Best Director - Singapore Short Film Awards

Lighthouse

2010

NFTS

Graduation film

Distance

2010

NFTS

Hotel 66

2009

NFTS

Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia (In Competition), Cinemajove International Film Festival Valencia, Spain (In Competition), Huesca International Film Festival, Spain (In Competition), Shanghai International Film Festival, China (In Competition), Rushes Soho Shorts Film Festival, UK (In Competition)

Haze

2008

58th Berlin International Film Festival (Nominee, Golden Bear for Short Film), Best Cinematography, Timishort Film Festival, Romania. Notable Screenings: 57th Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia (In Competition), 44th Chicago International Film Festival (In Competition), 28th Hawaii International Film Festival, USA (In Competition), 52nd London Film Festival

Ah Ma (Grandma)

2007

Sixtieth Cannes Film Festival (Special Mention Award),
International Short Film Festival of L'Aquila, Italy (Concours d’Excellence Award), Asian Film Archive Young Jury Awards, Singapore (Best Short Film, Best Sound Design for Short Film).

Notable Screenings: 2007 Bangkok International Film Festival, Thailand (Official Selection), 31st Sau Paulo International Film Festival (Official Selection), 12th Pusan International Film Festival, Korea (Wide Angle Section), 37th Kyiv International Film Festival Molodist, Ukraine (In Competition), 18th Stockholm International Film Festival, Sweden (In Competition), 37th Rotterdam International Film Festival, Netherlands, 10th Taipei Film Festival, Taiwan

G-23

2005

Third Asiana International Short Film Festival, Korea (New Filmmaker Award), 32nd Festival international du Film Indépendant, Brussels (Award for Tomorrow’s Cinema), 11th Lyon Asian Film Festival, France (Public Award for Best Short Film), 10th Malaysian Video Awards (Gold Award for Best ASEAN Short Film), Kodak Filmschool Competition (National Winner).

Notable Screenings: 59th Cannes Film Festival, France (Tous Les Cinema Du Monde),
Bangkok International Film Festival, Thailand (In Competition), 18th Singapore International Film Festival (Official Selection), Commonwealth Film Festival, UK (Official Selection), Kyiv International Film Festival Molodist, Ukraine (In Competition)