‘Ilo Ilo’ Director Anthony Chen to Produce ‘Distant’ Omnibus

Anthony Chen, the Singaporean director who shot to fame last year with “Ilo Ilo,” has not committed to his second directorial outing, but is instead set to exec produce “Distant,” a pan-Asian omnibus film.

The film, which explores love, friendship and kinship, will feature three 30-minute segments with cast and young directors from China, Singapore and Thailand. A Chinese star will appear in all three parts.

The project is backed by China’s Guangxi Films Group and production is expected to get under way in early 2015 with a release date set for August or September.

Chen, who earned a special mention at Cannes for his 2007 short “Grandma,” and won the Camera d’or in 2012 with “Ilo Ilo,” says his involvement in “Distant” comes as a reaction to the many problems he had as a first time feature director. “I hope it can be a stepping stone towards their first feature film,” he said.

Chen, who is based in London, has so far revealed few details of his second feature outing. He appears on course to make one with a period 1950s setting and a cast of U.K. actors.

“Ilo Ilo,” the story of a Filipina nanny living through tough times with a Singaporean family, won Chen a series of major prizes including the Golden Horse Award, the APSA for best director, the Muhr Asia/Africa Award from Dubai and the British Film Institute’s Sutherland Award.

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