Singapore has announced its nomination for the best foreign language category Oscar at next year’s 86th Academy Awards.
Director Anthony Chen’s intimate family drama, Ilo Ilo, was given the nod. The film is Chen’s first, and was awarded the prestigious Camera d’Or prize for best debut feature at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It marked the first time a Singaporean film won an award at the premier French fest.
The film opened in Singapore last week and bows in France today. It will also be screened at the Toronto Film Festival, beginning Thursday.
According to the Singapore Film Commission, which selects the territory’s official Oscar submissions, "Ilo Ilo is a uniquely Singapore story about resilience in family relationships, a theme which also resonates with the rest of the world." The body added that it was selected for its "excellence in execution and performance, accentuated by a thought-provoking storyline."
On the film’s official Facebook page, Chen said of his prospects of making the Academy’s final cut: "I'm thinking less of that and just hoping everyone in Singapore will come out and support our film. It's my bigger wish for the film to be appreciated at home."
No Singaporean film has yet won or been nominated for an Oscar since the Academy introduced the category for best foreign language features in 1947.