The heartwarming Singaporean film 'Ilo-Ilo' is currently vying to be shortlisted in the Foreign Film category at the Oscars.
As the star of the Singaporean film Ilo-Ilo
which has already won various prestigious awards, theater actress Angeli Bayani admitted she definitely felt the pressure bringing to life the character of Terry, an OFW from Ilo-Ilo who leaves her baby to become a nanny in Singapore during the 1997 Asian financial crisis. “The initial pressure came from the invitational audition kasi ayoko ipahiya yung nag
-invite sa akin, tapos ayoko ipahiya yung mga
teachers ko kasi lagi ko silang iniisip kapag may ginagawa akong
project. Pagdating ko sa
Singapore, nung na
-meet ko yung
women who have been there for a very long time, sabi ko talaga sa sarili ko ang importante mapakita ko kung paano sila nabuhay dati. Na pag napanuod nila yung maisip nila na, 'Oo ganun nga kami dati at ganyan pa rin hanggang ngayon.’ Yung maka
-relate sila. Hindi nga importante sa akin yung matandaan nila yung pangalan ko, gusto ko pag nanuod sila, yung makatotohanan naman yung makita nila at hindi
,” she said.
Angeli started out in theater as a member of the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company, the resident theater company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2002, after graduating from Theater Arts from UP Diliman. She then ventured into TV and movies, which included roles in two films from two different countries at this year's Cannes Film Festival for Ilo-Ilo and the Philippine movie Norte: Hangganan ng Kasaysayan which was directed by Lav Diaz. Ilo-Ilo ended up taking home the Camera d'Or award for first feature film which Angeli describes as a surreal experience. “I thought [that] ‘this is no joke.’ I'm pretty sure there are a lot of actors out there who are practicing their acceptance speech (laughs). So siyempre bilang nandun yun sa consciousness namin na pangarap siya, suntok sa buwan, na makapasok dito. Para siyang literally Cinderalla and the glass slipper (laughs). Wow basta, even when I was there para siyang hindi totoo. The audience sa Cannes were mainly film enthusiasts, film critics so dinadayo talaga nila yun. Nung kinompliment nila ako for both films, para na akong nanalo ng award,” she recalled.
Ilo-Ilo also recently won Best Picture at the Golden Horse awards, which is considered the “Oscars” of Taiwan. Angeli said another achievement for the movie is that it has been entered as Singapore's entry for next years Oscar awards. The list of films that will be shortlisted will be revealed in January but Angeli said she believes nothing is impossible at this point. “Yun talaga grabe ayoko siyang isipin kasi kung ang Cannes ay suntok sa buwan, ano pa kaya ang Oscars na nung bata ka pa lang pinapanuod mo na? Nung bata ako nililista ko pa yan kung sinong mga nominee at sinong nanalo kasi kung hindi ko siya mapanuod sa sinehan papanuorin ko pa rin siya somehow. Aminin na natin na dun natin nahanap yung mga icon natin sa kung hindi sa directing, sa acting. I cannot even begin to describe yung nararamdaman ko na na-shortlist siya. Ayoko siyang isipin but at the same time alam kong kailangan i-deal with eventually. Kung makapasok man eh di my God, magpapamisa ba ako (laughs) or kung hindi naman eh di move on with life? Kasi yung tinatahak ng Ilo-Ilo ngayon parang pataas ng pataas. Grabe, hindi ko talaga alam, parang panaginip na siya sobra pero sana magkatotoo. Sabi ng friend ko, naabot na nga yung Cannes eh tapos sumunod pa yung Golden Horse and all these other festivals. Everyone’s all praying na makapasok siya sa Oscars, na it’s not such an impossibility,” she shared.
Ilo-Ilo will be shown in theaters starting December 4, Wednesday. Ilo-Ilo stars Angeli Bayani, Singaporean actor Chen Tianwen, Malaysian actress Yeo Yann Yann, and Singaporean co-star, child actor Koh Jia Ler.