Photos: Reuters, AFP, Fisheye Pictures, Anthony Chen
Film-maker Anthony Chen has become the first Singaporean to win the prestigious Camera d'Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Camera d'Or, or Golden Camera, is an award given out for the best first feature film at the festival.
The Straits Times understands that he was scheduled to receive the coveted trophy at 7pm last night (1am Singapore time) in Cannes for his movie Ilo Ilo.
Starring Yeo Yann Yann, Chen Tianwen, Angeli Bayani and newcomer Koh Jia Ler, it tells a domestic story of a family and their new maid.
The film premiered at the festival to a 15-minute standing ovation at the end.
The 29-year-old, who is now also the first South-east Asian winner in the award's 36-year history, said he was "very shocked" at the good news.
He was, in fact, about to leave Cannes yesterday afternoon to join his wife in London when he got a call from organisers telling him to attend the closing ceremony later in the evening.
Ilo Ilo has been winning warm reviews in the past week after premiering to a 15-minute standing ovation last Sunday.
The movie will be screened in Singapore at the end of August, with Golden Village having already bought the distribution rights for the film.
Watch the trailer for Ilo Ilo.