Anthony Chen

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Anthony Chen
Chinese name 陳哲藝 (traditional)
Chinese name 陈哲艺 (simplified)
Born (1984-04-18) April 18, 1984 (age 31)

Anthony Chen (simplified Chinese: 陈哲艺; traditional Chinese: 陳哲藝; born April 18, 1984) 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[edit]

Anthony Chen was born April 18, 1984, to Bernard and his spouse Joan (née Tai). Interested in film from a young age, he attended Nan Hua Primary School, The Chinese High School (now Hwa Chong Institution), and Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Whilst in polytechnic in 2004 he made G-23, his first short film. The film was well-received and earned Chen numerous awards in various countries.[2]


Short films[edit]

In 2007 and 2008, Chen went on to direct Ah Ma and Haze respectively. Both attracted favourable criticism.[2] Ah Ma became the first Singapore film to be awarded at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival when it was awarded a Special Mention in the short film competition.

Following his mandatory conscription in the Army, Chen was admitted into the National Film and Television School in Britain. Graduating in 2010, two of his films, Distance and Lighthouse, were released that year. These were followed up with Karang Guni (2012) and Homesick (2013).[2] Chen is signed to London-based talent agency United Agents.[3] He is represented by UTA in the United States.

Some of Chen's short films, including G-23 and Homesick, are available on the short film website Viddsee.

Ilo Ilo (2013)[edit]

Ilo Ilo, Chen's first feature film effort, was released on August 29, 2013 in Singaporean theatres.[4] Chen served as director, producer, and writer.[5] After world premiering at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, the film received a fifteen-minute long "standing ovation" and earned Chen the coveted Camera d'Or.[6] Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong noted Chen's achievement, congratulating him and the film's cast on Facebook.[7]

Ilo Ilo was inspired by a real life maid who worked for Chen's family when he was a child.[8]

On 19 October 2013, Ilo Ilo won the Sutherland Prize for the Best First Film at the London Film Festival, on the same night that 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. In addition to Best New Director, Chen also won Best Original Screenplay while Yeo Yann Yann won Best Supporting Actress for Ilo Ilo.[10][11]

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

Post-Ilo Ilo[edit]

In October 2014, it was announced that Chen will executive produce Distance, an omnibus film of three segments with cast and young directors from China, Singapore and Thailand.

Personal life[edit]

Chen is married to Rachel (née Yan) whom he met while staying in London in 2007. He married her in 2009.[2]


  • G-23 (2005)
  • Ah Ma (2007)
  • Haze (2008)
  • Hotel 66 (2009)
  • Distance (2010)
  • Lighthouse (2010)
  • The Reunion Dinner (2011)
  • Karang Guni (2012)
  • Homesick (2013)
  • Ilo Ilo (2013)


External links[edit]