Out of its six nominations at this year's Golden Horse Awards, Singapore film Ilo Ilo stands a good chance of winning in two or three categories, say industry folks.
According to local film directors and producers Life! spoke to, Best New Performer for first-time child actor Koh Jia Ler, Best New Director for Anthony Chen and Best Supporting Actress for Yeo Yann Yann are possibilities.
The most daunting category Ilo Ilo is competing in has to be Best Feature Film. As film-maker Eric Khoo, 48, points out: "It's up against pretty strong contenders."
The category is chock-a-block with works from feted veterans. There is violent crime drama A Touch Of Sin from China's Jia Zhangke, period martial arts flick The Grandmaster from Hong Kong's Wong Kar Wai, family drama Stray Dogs from Taiwan-based Tsai Ming-liang and thriller Drug War from Hong Kong's Johnnie To.
The other two Ilo Ilo nominations are for Best Supporting Actor for Chen Tianwen and Best Original Screenplay for Anthony Chen.
The film is about a Singaporean family's experiences during the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and its impact on their relationship with a newly arrived Filipino maid.
Jack Neo, 53, thinks that Ilo Ilo's best chances are for Best Film and Best New Director.
"I'm very confident of Chen's directorial skills. He had already shone with his short film The Reunion Dinner (2011)," says Neo, whose childhood drama Homerun won its actress Megan Zheng the Best New Performer prize at 2003's Golden Horse Awards.
"I sincerely hope that a Singapore film can once again stand tall at the Golden Horse Awards."
Anthony Chen won the Camera d'Or for Best Debut Feature at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in May.
Many are rooting for him to make that trip to the podium for Best New Director at the Nov 23 Golden Horse ceremony, the Chinese-language movie world's equivalent of the Academy Awards. Taiwanese director Lee Ang leads the Golden Horse Awards jury.
Chen is up against actress-turneddirector Vicki Zhao Wei (right), singer- turned-director Juno Mak, Taiwan's Hsu Chao-jen and Hong Kong pair Longman Leung and Sunny Luk.