Tuesday, December 3, 2013

From “ILOILO”… to the world! Heartwarming ‘little’ film makes it big globally

Press Release - One night to go, the film “Iloilo” will open in Philippine theaters nationwide on December 4. The playdate is much awaited ever since Filipinos had learned about this film from Singapore about a Filipina housekeeper, Teresa, who goes to work for an ordinary family during the Asian financial crisis. The heartfelt tale presents how the family and Teresa form a special bond in spite of the challenging situation and their cultural differences.

“Iloilo” is the first full-length feature of director/writer Anthony Chen. The film stars Filipino actress Angeli Bayani as the housekeeper Teresa a.k.a. Auntie Terry, and Singaporean actors Yeo Yann Yann, Chen Tian Wen and Koh Jia Ler as the family members Hwe Leng, Teck, and Jiale, respectively. The story is based on director Anthony’s childhood experiences with his Ilongga nanny Teresita Sajonia.

Since the motion picture won the Camera d’Or (Best Debut Feature) at the prestigious 2013 Cannes International Film Festival, it continues to touch hearts, earn critical praise and win audience acclaim worldwide. As of the end of November, it has been screened in more than 30 international film festivals, and commercially released in at least five territories including France, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. “Iloilo” is Singapore’s official entry to the Best Foreign Film Category of the Oscars.

Among the film’s latest achievements include the Audience Award at the 15th Tokyo Filmex held last November 23-December 1, and four nominations in the 56th Asia Pacific Film Festival to be held in Macau from December 13-15. Angeli Bayani is nominated as Best Actress in the said festival.

Previously, “Iloilo” won Best New Director and Screenplay (Anthony Chen), Best Supporting Actress (Yeo Yann Yann) and Best Picture at the 50th Golden Horse (China’s Oscars). Hollywood director Ang Lee, Head Juror of the Golden Horse Awards, explained that “Iloilo” won Best Picture because, “it was a film that not a single judge disliked… it seemed effortless. It was a movie that grabbed your heart from the beginning and held it to the end.” At a tribute in honor of director Ang Lee held in Manila last November 28, he praised Angeli whom he described as “brilliant” and “a national treasure.” The Academy Award-winning filmmaker also recommended “Iloilo” to the audience, telling them, “You have to watch the movie!”

All these accolades have built up anticipation for the opening of “Iloilo” in the Philippines. The staff and stars are excited to show the film here. On December 1, director Anthony flew to Iloilo straight from Tokyo to attend the premiere screening there and give interviews. He was joined by Angeli, child actor Koh Jia Ler, and Teresita Sajonia (the real Auntie Terry) at the Iloilo premiere. All four were present at the Manila press con and gala held on December 2 at Resorts World.

“Iloilo” is distributed locally by Origin8 Media, and supported by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Philippine Migrants Rights Watch, Resorts World Manila, Cebu Pacific Air and Selracho. For more information, please refer to the ILOILO – The Philippine Premiere Facebook page. 

Press release courtesy of Origin 8 Media PR, Gay Domingo.

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