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Two Singapore productions land International Emmy Awards nominations

Leon Cheo’s People Like Us and Invisible Stories actress Yeo Yann Yann both receive coveted nods.


Two Singapore productions land International Emmy Awards nominations

Yeo Yann Yann (L) in Ler Jiyuan's Invisible Stories and Steven Lim (R) in Leon Cheo's People Like Us. (Photo: HBO Asia/ Cheo Pictures)

Singaporean writer-director Leon Cheo’s People Like Us has been nominated for Best Short-Form Series at the 2020 International Emmy Awards – a Singapore first.

Also nominated is Malaysian actress Yeo Yann Yann, who bagged a Best Performance by an Actress nod for her role in HBO Asia’s Invisible Stories – a series created by Singaporean director Ler Jiyuan with a team of local writers and produced by Singapore-based production house Birdmandog.

Yeo Yann Yann in a scene from HBO Asia's Invisible Stories. (Photo: HBO Asia)

The nominations for this 48th edition of the International Emmys were announced in New York on Thursday (Sep 24) by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Winners will be announced at a ceremony produced from New York City on Nov 23.

“I am super thrilled about this nomination and that the series has struck a chord with the judges at the International Emmys,” shared creator-writer-director Cheo. “This further validates my work to represent the LGBTQ community on film and television.”

Growing Up's Steven Lim stars in People Like Us. (Photo: People Like Us)

People Like Us is an emotional drama following the lives of four gay men in Singapore. Co-developed with Action for AIDS Singapore, it’s the series’ second season that netted the nomination.

“The drama series sought to increase awareness and uptake of sexual health services by the gay community in Singapore in a sensitive and yet entertaining manner,” said Sumita Banerjee, Executive Director of Action for AIDS Singapore (AfA). “This was one of the ways in which AfA hoped to raise awareness in a relatable manner within the community. This recognition will undoubtedly help us reach even wider audiences globally.”

A still from Leon Cheo's People Like Us (Photo: People Like Us)

Starring Hemant Ashoka, Irfan Kasban, Josh Crowe, Syaheeran Othman, and Steven Lim (from Growing Up fame), the series is currently available on YouTube and has been acquired by US premium cable channel HereTV, and platforms Gagaoolala and Dekkoo.

The first season of People Like Us screened at festivals around the world, sweeping up awards in Best Short Drama at the ITVFest and Formosa Festival of International Filmmakers as well as Best Supporting Actor for Steven Lim at the 8th Indie Series Awards.

Emmy-nominated Yeo Yann Yann plays a burnt out and financially-drained single mother struggling to cope with her 19-year-old son (played by Devin Pan) with autism. (Photo: HBO Asia)

In Invisible Stories, multiple award-winning actress Yeo plays Lian, a burnt-out and financially drained single mother struggling to cope with her 19-year-old son (played by Devin Pan) with autism. The six-part half-hour drama series, which is currently streaming on HBO GO, was filmed entirely on location in Singapore.

It was produced locally as part of a two-year partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

Select episodes from Invisible Stories were featured at the 2019 Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and the Singapore International Film Festival.