Ilo Ilo's win will spur others

Ilo Ilo's win will spur others
Director Anthony Chen with the Best New Director and Best Original Screenplay awards that he won for Ilo Ilo.

All Singapore director Anthony Chen wanted to do at the Golden Horse Awards was to shake hands with his "idol", Taiwan-born Oscar-winning film-maker Lee Ang.

Not only did he get his wish, Lee also presented him the ceremony's top prize for Best Feature Film for his debut feature Ilo Ilo.

The night ended with Chen, 29, having an intimate chat with Lee, 59, over a hotpot dinner.

Lee had stopped by at the after-party organised by the Ilo Ilo team at a hotpot restaurant in Taipei following the awards show last Saturday night. He stayed for about an hour to eat and chat with the Singapore director and cast.

Over the telephone from Taipei yesterday afternoon, Chen says that the acclaimed director of Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Life Of Pi (2012) gave him some solid words of advice.

He says: "Lee Ang told me that now that I have started so high up, it's going to be a really, really tough act to follow up on, and that I really need to be careful about how I continue on this path.

"There really is a huge immense pressure for me now. I'm not sure how I am going to move on from here."

Indeed, there will be a lot of expectations riding on Chen now that he is a Golden Horse winner, as the prestigious prize is considered the Oscars of Chinese-language cinema.

The Best Feature Film award is just one of four awards that Ilo Ilo bagged at the show.

The others are for Chen for Best New Director and Best Original Screenplay, as well as for actress Yeo Yann Yann for Best Supporting Actress.

The film was up for another two awards - child actor Koh Jia Ler, 12, for Best New Performer and veteran actor Chen Tianwen, 50, for Best Supporting Actor.

They lost, however, to Taiwanese actress Kuo Shu-yau, 23, for Step Back To Glory, and to Li Xuejian, 59, for historical epic Back To 1942.

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