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Why no Anthony Chen?

Why was prolific, award-winning local director Anthony Chen (photo) omitted from the 7 Letters lineup?

After all, the 30-year-old helmer of Ilo Ilo placed Singapore in the film spotlight when he won the Camera d'Or for Best First Feature at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, as well as Best Feature Film and Best New Director at the Golden Horse Awards last year.

Royston Tan would only say that "an invitation was extended" to Chen.

Mr Tan, who was responsible for approaching the other directors, added that the final six film-makers had responded very quickly. For instance, his mentor Eric Khoo and veteran film-maker Jack Neo agreed after just a five-minute call from Tan.

When asked about what Chen would have brought to the table, Tan said: "He represents a new species in our ecosystem, which is important.

"Although he is not a part of this project, we cannot discredit the other directors, who have played a vital role in this project."