Award winner Ilo Ilo headlines Singapore film festival in Hong Kong
Singapore’s rise in the 50 years since gaining independence from Malaysia is a success story on many fronts. Whether it’s the economy, technology scene, or infrastructure, the city state can go toe to toe with any country. However, its cinema has gone relatively unnoticed on the world stage.
That changed in 2013 with Ilo Ilo, the domestic drama directed by Anthony Chen that won awards at festivals around the world, including the Caméra d’Or at Cannes.
Thus it makes sense that Ilo Ilo — the city state’s most critically acclaimed film — headlines the Singapore Film Festival that runs from August 28 to 31at the Metroplex in Kowloon Bay. Organised by the Singapore consulate, the 12-film lineup also features Jack Neo’s I Not Stupid, Kelvin Tong’s It’s a Great, Great World and Tan Pin Pin’s Invisible City. Tickets are HK$70 each. Visit metroplex.com.hk for the schedule.
Domestic helper film turns to crowdfunding
A documentary that looks to tell the stories of a group of migrant mothers who work as domestic helpers in Hong Kong is still being shot, but the filmmakers need help with funding. The Helper follows the lives of the Unsung Heroes choir: the work they do in Hong Kong and the sacrifices they’ve made to support their children back in the Philippines, Indonesia and elsewhere. It’s directed by Joanna Bowers, a Hong Kong-based filmmaker who was inspired by the story of her own helper, who plans to return home to the Philippines to take a civil service exam.
While there are still many interviews to be done — Bower and producer Tony Verb hope to interview the children, too — the climax of the documentary has been finished for months: it is of the Unsung Heroes performing at last year’s Clockenflap.
The crowdfunding campaign started this week and the filmmakers are hoping to raise US$80,000. If you want to help, visit kickstarter.com and search for the documentary title.