The new picture represents the first from Singapore to play in competition at Cannes. Khoo's previous picture Be With Me opened Directors' Fortnight in 2005 while his 12 Storeys played at Un Certain Regard a decade ago. He remains the only Singapore director to have a feature film played at the festival.
My Magic follows a destitute single dad who hopes to redeem himself and win his young son's love and respect. As a former magician, he makes a painful return to magic and an unexpected incident set them on the road together.
Khoo described the film as his most personal. 'I'm a dad myself and for the longest time, I've wanted to do a movie about a father and son, the obstacles in their relationship, and how they get together despite the difficulties,' said Khoo who has four boys aged between eight and 14.
The story was inspired by lead actor Francis Bosco, a real-life magician whom Khoo has known for more than a decade. The film was shot mainly in India 's Tamil language, the mother tongue of Bosco and 14-year-old student Jathishweran Naidu who plays his son.
Meanwhile, Khoo will next direct Chinese Rose, a $1.5m production about Rose Chan, the Queen of Striptease in the 1950s and 1960s. MediaCorp Raintree Pictures and Zhao Wei Films are producing.
An open casting for the lead actress will launch next week. Filming is expected to start in Malaysia in the second half of this year.