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Ilo Ilo Director Anthony Chen To Debut New Film Starring Zhou Dongyu At Cannes Film Festival

Anthony Chen is one of seven directors involved in the anthology film 'The Year of the Everlasting Storm'.

Award-winning Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen is going to stir up a storm at next month’s 74th Cannes Film Festival.

Per announcement at a press conference in Paris on Thursday (June 3), the anthology film, The Year of the Everlasting Storm, is set to make its world premiere at the 11-day festival, which kicks off on July 6. The film will be showcased in the Special Screenings section.

Chen is one of seven acclaimed directors involved in this movie bankrolled by Neon, the folks behind Parasite. The other filmmakers are Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Jafar Panahi, Laura Poitras, Dominga Sotomayor, David Lowery and Malik Vitthal.

Each auteur created a short film as a response to the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chen’s segment, The Break Away — which he directed remotely from London where he’s based — is about a couple (Better Days’ Zhou Dongyu and Dying to Survive’s Zhang Yu) coping with lockdown blues.

This is Chen’s third outing at Cannes. His short film, Ah Ma, received a Special Distinction Prize in the 2007 edition while his debut feature, Ilo Ilo, took home the prestigious Camera d’Or in 2013.

The Break Away isn’t Chen's only pandemic-themed project. His next feature, We are All Strangers — his final chapter in his ‘Growing Up trilogy’, which also includes Ilo, Ilo and 2019’s Wet Season — is also inspired by the global health crisis. 

We are All Strangers will reunite the Golden Horse Award-winning helmer with Ilo Ilo and Wet Season actors Yeo Yann Yann and Koh Jia Ler, and is slated to start production next year. 

Photo: Giraffe Pictures 

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