"Ilo Ilo" depicts the relationship between a young boy and a maid during the Asian financial crisis. Their friendship puts a great deal of strain on the boy's family. According to Film Movement, it's the first Singaporean film to win a coveted prize at Cannes, where it received a 15-minute standing ovation.
Chen premiered a short film, "Grandma," at Cannes in 2007. It won a special mention in the Palme d'Or short competition.