HOOQ – the largest Video on Demand service in South-East Asia – premieres 5 original selected screenplays as pilot episodes to on the platform today. This is part of the inaugural HOOQ Filmmakers Guild wherein the best of these 5 pilots will be commissioned into a full series on the platform.
The 5 pilots are: Bhak (India),Haunt Me (Singapore), How To Be A Good Girl (Singapore), Aliansi (Indonesia) and Heaven and Hell (Indonesia). The 5 were selected from over 500 submissions received by HOOQ, over a 2-month period, from all over South East Asia.They comprisea mix of genres, from sci-fi comedy to action-thriller and even supernatural-horror.
BHAK India’s shortlisted entry is a colourful dramedy that follows the adventures of two ambitious young filmmakers, sick of being pushed around by Bollywood, decide to take matters into their own hands leading to a vicious, yet hilarious roller-coaster ride of frustration, passion, betrayal and love of Indian cinema.
Written and produced by Arjun Chatterjee and Shreyom Ghosh from Big3 Media, it explores themes of passion, betrayal and love, all while looking at the struggle of budding filmmakers with an acerbic wit.
CAST: Shreecharan Rachakonda, Harssh Singh, Priyanka Nath, Akash Arora, Balaji Manohar LANGUAGE: English/Hindi (Closed Captioning available)
HAUNT ME One of Singapore’s two entries is a supernatural drama by Oman Dhas and Goh Ming Siu and stars Nat Ho.
It follows the story of a single father who moves into his family ancestral home after his father’s death, only to discover his family’s secret, sacred destiny: guiding lost souls to the ‘other side’.
CAST: Nat Ho, Elvis Chin, Cheryl Tan, Ken Sun, Maryanne Ng; LANGUAGE: English (Closed Captioning available)
HOW TO BE A GOOD GIRL The second of Singapore’s two shortlisted entries is a deeply contemplative piece created and produced by Abundant Productions and starring Shu An Oon.
How To Be A Good Girl follows former socialite turned ex-convict, Frances Lee, who is looking to reclaim her life after time behind bars.
CAST: Onn Shu An, Tan Kheng Hua, Ng Yu Lin, Andrew Lua LANGUAGE: English (Closed Captioning available)
ALIANSI Representing the first of Indonesia’s two entries, Aliansi is an offbeat comedy by Muttaqiena Imaamaa that blends sci-fi tropes with satiric overtones to hilarious effect.
It follows the story of a down-and-out Jakarta-based creative executive, who gets a chance to start over when a mysterious millionaire approaches him to create advertising campaigns – to convince the public that aliens are real.
CAST: Vedie Budiman, Dhanya Hasanudin, Pocut F Kamaral, M Ramdhani, Choki Pardede, Youriche Endine,Chicco Kurniawan LANGUAGE: Bahasa Indonesia (Closed Captioning available)
HEAVEN AND HELL From the producers of “The Raid” and “The Raid 2: Redemption” together with Bobby Prabowo, Heaven and Hell, delivers an unflinching glimpse at the world of the Eastern Indonesia mafia.
When a gang war is about to break out in Darmaga Batu, his adoptive hometown, Chris contemplates leaving the violent world of crime, until he realizes, the only way he can protect his jailed father, is by diving deep into the heart of darkness, as the head of the crime world.
CAST: Aufa Assagaf, Salvita Decorte, Donny Alamsyah, Mike Lucock, Farishad Latjuba LANGUAGE: Bahasa Indonesia (Closed Captioning available)
Peter Bithos, CEO of HOOQ, said, “We at HOOQ are so proud of the pilots, which the HOOQ Filmmakers Guild has produced. These pilots are proof of the quality of filmmakers and unique storiesacrossSoutheast Asia.It will be a very difficult decision to commission just one series! The success of the HOOQ Filmmakers Guild is just the beginning of many great thingsfor the Guild’s filmmakers. HOOQ is committed to support the talented filmmakers across Asia in 2018 and beyond as we continue to push boundaries to develop unique stories from an Asian perspective to keep our subscribers HOOQ’d month after month!”
Launched in June 2017, the HOOQ Filmmakers Guild is an annual initiative designed to seek out film talents in Asia that have great ideas but lack the opportunity to bring them to lifeon screen.Each of the above 6 screenplays received USD 30,000 to produce the pilot episode.
The pilots will now undergo judging from 5 esteemed filmmakers from Asia, namely Indonesia’s Mouly Surya and Nicholas Saputra, Philippines’ Erik Matti, as well as Thailand’s Wasin Pokpong, and Puttipong Promasakha Na Sakolnakorn. In addition to professional judging, viewership numbers will also be taken into consideration and will also be factored in before the winner is selected.
Award-winning Filipinofilmmaker and competition judge, Erik Matti, commented, “Coming in, I had high expectations for this initiative knowing that there is a vast landscape of untapped talent across Asia. True enough, my expectations were met by the sheer amount of fresh and unique talent that stepped up to the plate. And now, I can’t wait for these chosen filmmakers to finally be able showcase their work. Regardless of who wins, I have no doubt that these pilots will not disappoint”.
HOOQ’s Chief Content Officer, Jennifer Batty, said, “This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for since we embarked on this journey in 2017. As a champion of Asian original content, we knew that there was a wealth of untapped potential in our Asian markets. We are incredibly proud of this talented batch of filmmakers who have worked tirelessly to bring their singular vision to life. May the best pilot win!”
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