Singapore Bans Local Film #LookAtMe Global Bulletin

SINGAPORE BANS ‘#LOOKATME’

Singapore has banned the release of “#LookAtMe,” a feature film by local director Ken Kwek. The InfoComm Media Development Authority said that the film exceeds film classification guidelines because it denigrates a religious community. Supposedly based in true events, the film depicts a man who is offended by a pastor who preaches against homosexuality, but whose behavior contradicts his teachings. The protagonist’s viral video about the aberrant priest lands him in jail, causing the man’s gay identical twin to fight for justice.

“#LookAtMe,” premiered at the New York Asian Film Festival and local media report that the film has been selected for next month’s Singapore International Film Festival. But the IMDA ruling means that it cannot now be shown in any form in Singapore unless Kwek is successful with an appeal.

Singapore recently banned Indian film “The Kashmir Files” on religious grounds. It is also the country with the record of asking Netflix for the highest number of take-downs. And, although the Singapore government recently said it would decriminalize homosexuality, the IMDA said that it would take a stricter line against LGBT depictions in film and TV content.

The NYAFF said: “Ken Kwek’s indictment of backward thinking and barbaric laws veers from the deadly serious to the colorfully camp, without once losing sight of its humanity.”

MORE SCREENS

Wanda Film, China’s largest cinema exhibitor, has struck a nine-theater deal with large screen cinema company Imax. Six new Imax systems will be installed in newly built multiplexes in China. And Wanda will relocate and upgrade three of its existing Imax systems to forthcoming new multiplexes. Locations include those in major cities Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. Wanda currently has 371 Imax theatres in operation and another 23 in backlog. The two companies have also worked together on production and distribution. Wanda Pictures’ “Detective Chinatown 3” was filmed using Imax technology.

BUSAN BAHT

Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion announced on Monday that eight Thai companies had generated THB398 million ($10.4 million) of sales deals during the recent Asian Contents & Film Market in Busan. Foreign interest focused primarily on the action, thriller and boys love genres. The DITP, which operated a booth in the Busan market, will next attend the American Film Market in Santa Monica and host a “Thai Night” party.

MORE LOVE

Binge, the streaming service operated by Australian pay-TV leader Foxtel, has begun production of a second season of drama series “Love Me.” The series is now shooting in Melbourne and Victoria State. The Warner Bros. International Television production is an adaptation of Sweden’s “Alska Mig” and premiered in December last year on Binge, earning strong ratings and seven Logie Award nominations. The first season also played on Hulu in the U.S. Bonnie Moir is to direct all six episodes of the new season, which will star Hugo Weaving, Bojana Novakovic, William Lodder, Heather Mitchell, Bob Morley, Celia Pacquola, Shalom Brune-Franklin and Mitzi Ruhlman.

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