Set in Singapore during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Ilo Ilo chronicles the day-to-day drama of the Lim family - troublesome grade-schooler Jiale and his overstressed parents, Heck and Leng. Comfortably middle-class and with another baby on the way, they hire Teresa, a Filipino immigrant, as a live-in maid and nanny. An outsider in both the family and Singapore itself, Teresa initially struggles to manage Jiale's antics and find her footing in her new community. The two eventually form a unique bond, but just as Teresa becomes an unspoken part of the family, unforeseen circumstances in an uncertain economy will challenge the new normal yet again.
In 2009, Anthony Chen was accorded the Young Artist Award by the National Arts Council of Singapore. In 2010, he completed his Masters in Film Directing at the National Film and Television School, UK with a scholarship from the Media Development Authority of Singapore. Collectively, his shorts have screened at numerous prestigious film festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, Rotterdam, Pusan, London, Sao Paulo, Stockholm, Sydney, Montreal, Melbourne, Chicago, Hawaii, etc. ILO ILO marks his feature film debut.
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