Born in Singapore, Anthony Chen started film school at the young age of 17 to pursue his passion in filmmaking. Trained at film school in Singapore and then at the National Film and Television School, UK, his shorts have screened and been awarded at numerous prestigious festivals including Cannes, Berlin, Rotterdam, Busan, London, Sydney, Melbourne, and Chicago. With AH MA (GRANDMA), his 2007 short, he became the first Singaporean to be awarded at Cannes.
Chen's debut feature ILO ILO debuted at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and was unanimously awarded the Camera d'Or, making history again as the first Singapore feature to be awarded at Cannes. ILO ILO went on to gain widespread acclaim and recognition when it became an arthouse favourite, winning forty awards internationally, including four Golden Horse Awards at the 50th Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan. ILO ILO was also Singapore's submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards. It became the most successful arthouse film in the history of Singapore cinema both commercially and critically.
Chen was named as one of Variety magazine's '10 Directors to Watch' in 2014. As Producer, he launched Giraffe Pictures in Singapore, a boutique film company with an aim to nurture and develop new voices in Asia.
Chen's latest film, WET SEASON, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019 and was once again lauded critically, garnering 10 awards so far. It was Singapore's submission to the 93rd Academy Awards for Best International Film.
He currently lives in London with his wife and son.