Ken Kwek’s #LookAtMe premieres at the New York Asian Film Festival

SINGAPORE — Singaporean director Ken Kwek’s second feature, #LookAtMe, will make its world premiere at the New York Asian Film Festival on July 23.

The film is also one of seven nominees for the festival’s Uncaged Award for Best Feature Film, which, according to its press release, “spotlights feature film directors whose singular cinematic visions should be announced at the on an international scale, celebrating their passion, imagination and willingness to take risks”.

The festival, now in its 20th year, described #LookAtMe as “a brilliantly energetic play on social media stardom, canceling culture and the erosion of human rights”.

It stars Tiong Bahru Social Club actor Yao (2020), formerly known as Thomas Pang. The Straits Times Life Theater Award-winning actor takes on the dual role of renegade vlogger Sean and his gay twin Ricky. The cast also includes Pam Oei and Ching Shu Yi.

The English, Mandarin and Malay film follows the brothers and their free-thinking single mother after witnessing a popular televangelist demonizing homosexuality.

Sean posts a video attacking the televangelist and goes viral. He lands in jail, with his mother and Ricky fighting an uphill battle for justice.

In an Instagram post last Saturday (July 9) announcing the world premiere, Kwek wrote, “Twins fascinate me. I’ve always wanted to create an interesting couple in a movie – and here they are.”

The director and playwright is known for his irreverent comedies and social satires. His feature debut, Unlucky Plaza (2014), premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won him Best Director at the Jasmine Film Festival in Tehran.

Darcy J. Skinner