Rush to watch Ilo Ilo after recent wins

Rush to watch Ilo Ilo after recent wins
Director Anthony Chen will be overseas promoting the movie in Japan and the Philippines. Ilo Ilo, which stars (from left) Chen Tianwen, Koh Jia Ler and Yeo Yann Yann, won four Golden Horse awards last Saturday, including Best Feature Film.

The historic Golden Horse wins for home-grown director Anthony Chen's Ilo Ilo have created a surge of renewed interest in the film.

So much so that Golden Village has doubled the number of screenings for the film this week, from four screenings a day to eight.

The $500,000 drama, which first opened in cinemas in August, was taken down after a 10-week run which earned $900,000 in box-office receipts.

Last Thursday, however, the movie was brought in for a second round of screenings at selected Golden Village cinemas to celebrate its record six nominations at the Golden Horse awards last Saturday.

Now that Ilo Ilo has bagged four out of the six awards, including the top prize for Best Feature Film, moviegoers have been rushing to catch the film.

A spokesman for Golden Village Pictures, the distributor of the film, said that ticket sales "went up immediately" following the awards show last Saturday night.

"Tickets have been selling really fast since the Golden Horse wins, so we added additional evening screenings this week so that more people can watch it."

When Life! checked the Golden Village ticket booking website yesterday, several sessions this week - including the usually less popular afternoon timings - were almost fully booked.

Ilo Ilo is being shown at three Golden Village cineplexes: Plaza Singapura, Yishun and Tiong Bahru.

The Golden Village spokesman added that the film will "likely" stay in cinemas "for at least one more week" from Thursday onwards.

She said: "We will definitely try our best to hold the sessions for Ilo Ilo for as long as we can. Unfortunately, it's a busy trading period for cinemas as there are a lot of titles opening this holiday season, including The Hunger Games, Frozen, Firestorm and The Hobbit."

Moviegoers such as public relations associate Viviane Then, 28, are pleased to be getting a second chance to catch the film.

She said: "I was way too busy when it opened in cinemas, so now that there are extra screenings for the movie, I will definitely try to catch it.

"I won't deny that I want to catch it because of the four Golden Horse awards. The fact that a Singapore film can win Golden Horse awards makes it worth checking out."

Director Chen, 29, was still in Taipei fielding back-to-back press interviews to promote the movie, which opens there this week, when Life! rang him yesterday afternoon.

He will return to Singapore on Dec 3 after making stops in Japan for a film festival and in the Philippines to promote Ilo Ilo's cinema release there.

He is unsure if the Ilo Ilo team will get the chance to get together to celebrate the Golden Horse wins in Singapore.

"It's too early to say at this point. Everyone has been so busy juggling the media. We really haven't had time to think or plan anything yet," he said.

Ilo Ilo also won Golden Horse awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best New Director for Chen, as well as Best Supporting Actress for Malaysian actress Yeo Yann Yann, 36.

The Golden Horse awards are dubbed the Oscars of Chinese-language cinema.

Ilo Ilo is showing in selected Golden Village cinemas.

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