Last night, the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) and the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore co-hosted a screening of “Ilo Ilo,” which first premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, followed by its Singapore release in August 2013. Prior to the screening, the audience enjoyed remarks from Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, and H.E. Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, Ambassador to the United States of America, Embassy of the Republic of Singapore. Also in attendance was Mrs. Gouri Mirpuri, a strong supporter of the arts both in the United States and Singapore, who, along with the ASEAN Women’s Circle, started this year’s first ever ASEAN Film Festival in Washington, DC.
Not only did the screening highlight Anthony Chen’s “Ilo Ilo,” which has received numerous awards on the international festival scene – including an Achievement in Directing at last year’s Asia Pacific Screen Awards – it also shed light on Singapore’s artistic and political communities. Last night’s event was a great reminder of the importance of sharing vibrant films across borders while protecting the work and creativity of the filmmakers that produce them.
“It’s exciting to see what’s happening, to see remarkable product being produced all over the world today,” stated Senator Dodd. “To have product that’s not only going to hopefully appeal to domestic offices, but films that travel, that have universal themes and subject matter that can be appreciated regardless of ethnicity or language or culture.”
The screening was especially timely, as Senator Dodd’s recent travels to Asia – in which he spent time attending film festivals, film workshops and seminars – further illuminated the incredible dynamism of the Asian Pacific screen community and the enormous potential for countries in the region to build substantial film industries able to provide quality jobs to those working in it and quality screen entertainment to the movie going audience.
Of Singapore’s artistic and cultural presence, Ambassador Mirpuri added, “We hope that with the Embassy working with partners in the US, we can bring more of these cultural offerings – to you, to all the audiences, so that they can understand a little bit more about Singapore and look at it in a broader dimension.”