Today we can reveal details about the pandemic-set drama, which was recently announced for the Berlinale Co-Production Market 2021.
Singaporean filmmaker Chen, the 2013 Cannes Caméra d’Or winner, is due to begin production in his homeland on the Mandarin-language movie in spring 2022. The film will continue the director’s exploration of domestic relations and familial dynamics and touch on themes of privilege, class, and inequality as they are brought into sharper relief by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The film grew out of Chen’s concern for his young actor Jia Ler as he faces the brutality of the adult world. Shooting can only commence once the actor completes his mandatory military service. The feature will likely be ready for festivals a decade after the director and actor first collaborated on Chen’s well-received debut Ilo Ilo, which unspooled at Cannes in 2013.
Both Ilo Ilo and Wet Season traveled the festival circuit and scored multiple awards. Wet Season played at Toronto and London and won Yeo Yann Yeo the prestigious best actress prize at the Golden Horse Awards. It will be distributed by Strand Releasing in the U.S. in spring/summer 2021. Both films were selected as Singapore’s International Oscar entry and both were sold by Paris-based Memento.
Ilo Ilo, set in 1990s Singapore, charts the friendship between Filipino nursemaid Teresa and her young charge Jiale. In Wet Season, a teacher and student at a Singapore high school form a life-affirming bond.
Chen is represented by United Talent Agency in the United States and United Agents in the United Kingdom.
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