Director Ken Kwek, of Sex.Violence.FamilyValues, to premiere debut feature Unlucky Plaza at Toronto

Cinema still: Sex.Violence.FamilyValues starring Sylvia Ratonel. -- PHOTO: KEN KWEK AND THE BUTTER FACTORY
Cinema still: Sex.Violence.FamilyValues starring Sylvia Ratonel. -- PHOTO: KEN KWEK AND THE BUTTER FACTORY
Singaporean director-producer Ken Kwek speaking at a press conference held at The Butter Factory on 17 Oct 2012. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Singaporean director-producer Ken Kwek speaking at a press conference held at The Butter Factory on 17 Oct 2012. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

Local film-maker Ken Kwek, who was behind the controversial Sex.Violence.FamilyValues, will be premiering his debut feature-length work Unlucky Plaza at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept 4, according to the festival website.

It is screening in the Discovery section of the festival for "directors to watch" and is eligible for the International Critics' Prize (FIPRESCI Prize).

The 122-minute film, billed as a thriller based on a true story, is about "the lives of an arrogant young motivational speaker in debt to the Chinese mafia, his lookin'-to-get-out girlfriend, and a single father in dire straits", and stars Adrian Pang and Judee Tan.

Kwek also wrote the screenplay.

His film Sex.Violence.FamilyValues, which was released last year, had caused a flap over alleged racial slurs in its dialogue. The 47-minute work, a collection of three short films, stirred debate over the limits of expression when, just days before its release in October 2012, the Media Development Authority yanked its M18 rating, effectively banning it.

Members of the public had sent in complaints about racial slurs in the film as shown in its online trailer.

The version finally released in cinemas in March last year had eight seconds of speech overdubbed with music, and carried a tougher R21 rating.

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