CJ ENM HONG KONG LTD expands local language scripted series production pipeline with the introduction of four scripted series made for global streaming audiences. Three of them are supported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) to produce “streaming first” premium scripted series for global audiences by marrying Korean, Singaporean and Regional talents. This collaboration was first announced a year ago under the Capability Partnership Programme.
This is hot on the heels of the recent announcement that CJ ENM HK co-produced a high-profile Mandarin series Mom, Don’t Do That! with Taiwanese partner, Butt Mountain.
The first three series are co-developed and co-created with Singaporean production partners and each project will be led by a key Production outfit. CJ ENM HK will also bring on board a team of producers from Korea as a creative consultant for each series.
1. Hungry Souls (Zhao Wei Films) is a five-episode Mandarin mini-series featuring the unlikely, forbidden love story between a young chef and a hungry ghost. Set against the colorful backdrop of the vibrant and culturally iconic Hungry Ghost Festival, and featuring throwbacks to triad activities in 1970s Singapore, the cinematic series marries elements of romance, drama and fantasy.
The Hungry Ghost Festival (also known as the “Lunar Seventh Month”) is a widely celebrated event in Singapore and some parts of Asia where restless, hungry spirits return to the human realms for a month to seek earthly pleasures. Featuring significant elements of this iconic festival, the series celebrates an important, distinct, and unique cultural tradition in Singapore.
Spearheaded by multiple award-winning filmmaker and Cultural Medallion recipient Eric Khoo, the series brings together a stellar cast to deliver a spellbinding and heart-warming supernatural love story for the ages
2. Venus On Mars (Mocha Chai Laboratories), a six-part high concept sci-fi, romantic comedy series about an undergraduate student, Julia, who is accidentally transported into a parallel world where there are only men – the ‘M-Earth.’ In this new world in which she is the only female, Julia re-evaluates her own thoughts on feminism, equality between genders, life, and love. Showrunning the series is one of Singapore’s most prolific and award-winning filmmakers, Chai Yee Wei (Grand Prix George Lucas Award at the 20th Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia for his short film Benjamin’s Last Day At Katong Swimming Complex). The series is being produced by MCL’s Managing Partner, Michelle Chang, a veteran in Content and Business Development, in collaboration with award-winning veteran Taiwanese producer, Phil Tang (GM of Greener Grass Productions and Monomyth Films) and written by award-winning Taiwanese writer Huang Yu-chia, winner of Golden Bell Awards for Best Script. Filming will take place in Taiwan with post-production in Singapore.
3. Deep End (Akanga Film Asia) is a five-part psychological thriller about online cyber-crime in Asia. In this series, we enter a world where technology is both liberating and dangerous, a tool where information and images are manipulated, and a place where alarming ideologies are manifested. Both a sensational thriller and cautionary tale, the series highlights some of the most pressing issues related to online sex in Asia. In Deep End, investigations of a revenge porn murder case spark a chain of events that plunge troubled police officer, Li Ching into the dark world of cybersex crimes in Asia. Deep End is produced by one of the most prolific Singaporean producers, Fran Borgia, whose name is associated with movies like Crazy Rich Asians, A Land Imagined, Apprentice and A Yellow Bird. Award-winning directors, Yeo Siew Hua (A Land Imagined – Singapore’s entry to the Academy Awards 2020, Best Original Screenplay at 2019 Golden Horse Film Awards, Locarno’s Golden Leopard Winner) and K. Rajagopal (A Yellow Bird – Cannes Critics Week, Best Film at the ASEAN Film Awards 2017) helm the production and share writing credits with playwright and screenwriter, Kaylene Tan as head-writer. The series will feature cast and crew from Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia.
All three series will finish casting and commence production in the second half of 2021. CJ ENM HK will distribute these series globally.
Apart from the trio of new projects, CJ ENM HK has also collaborated with Taiwanese production company, Butt Mountain to take a sensational novel into an 11-episodes series – Mom, Don’t Do That! filmed entirely in Taiwan in 4K quality.
Based on the true story of the novel’s author Chen Ming-min’s mum who relentlessly surfs the web to find love, the story explores whether a widowed middle-aged woman has the right to pursue new love. By reshaping perceptions of a ‘middle-aged widow’, this series will overturn traditional mindsets and provoke conversations in today’s society.
Taking the lead role as Rose is Taiwanese singer-actress also known as ‘super-hot mom’, Ms. Billie Wang. Other notable cast members include award-winning actors – Ms. Alyssa Chia and Ms. Alice Ko as Rose’s two daughters (Ru-rong and Ruo-min), Mr. Chris Wu as the tall, rich and handsome love interest of Ru-rong, and Mr. Austin Lin as the irresponsible and unemployed boyfriend of Ruo-min.
The executive producers of the series are Sarso Chou, Weiling Chen and Michael Jung. Actress Alyssa Chia also participates as a producer of the film. CJ ENM HK contributed to the creative direction of the project and will handle distribution within Asia (excluding Taiwan and China). The series is now in post-production and set to release in Q4 this year. Mom, Don’t Do That!