There’s change afoot at Love Island seller ITV Studios.
There’s change afoot at Love Island seller ITV Studios.
Harry Styles is a global phenomenon. While not everyone may understand it, there's no denying the impact the former One Direction star has on his fans.
Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Indonesian horror feature “Losmen Melati” (aka “Motel Melati”) has set theatrical releases in Malaysian and Singaporean cinemas on April 6, and April 13, respectively, following its release in Indonesia on Thursday. The film is co-directed by Mike Wiluan and Billy Christian. It tells the story of a secluded and enigmatic guest house, run by its mystifying owner, Madam Melati. As she lures in unsuspecting visitors to the guest house, they are confronted with their worst nightmares, never to be seen again. The movie features a cast of Alexandra Gottardo (“Tanah Air Beta”), Kiki Narendra (“Perempuan Tanah Jahanam”), Fandy Christian (“Letters for You”) and Samuel Panjaitan (“Ghost also Selfie”). Presented by streamer Catchplay and Infinite Studios, “Losmen Melati” is co-distributed by Clover Films and Golden Village Pictures in Singapore.
Are you ready for the next F1 race this weekend?
NMIXX have announced their upcoming ‘Nice to MIXX You’ showcase tour that will take the group to cities in North America and Asia.The ‘Nice to MIXX You’ tour is set to kick off on May 2 on the West Coast of the US in Washington, followed by two shows in California. The girl group will the head south, with performance in Texas and Georgia, before moving up the East Coast with concerts in DC and New York.The following month, NMIXX will make their way to Asia, starting with a show in Thailand on June 4.
MAMAMOO are set to embark on their first-ever tour of the US as part of their wider ‘MY CON’ world tour.Today (March 15), the quartet officially announced that they would be going on their first North American tour, which will comprise shows in nine cities on both coasts, as well as southern and midwestern markets, over two months.MAMAMOO’s US tour will first kick off on May 16 in New York, before heading down the coast to Baltimore, Maryland and Atlanta, Georgia. The girl group will then head down south, with shows in Tennessee, Texas and Arizona.
EXCLUSIVE: Cinema Guild has acquired North American rights for Belgian director Bas Devos’s film Here which won best film in the Berlin Film Festival’s Encounters section last month as well as the Fipresci prize.
Naman Ramachandran Singapore-based media and entertainment company mm2 Asia and Taiwan’s Man Man Er are starting development on series ”Tales of Mystery” (working title), a series borne from the strategic partnership of the pair with Taiwanese intellectual property company Million Star (Huaxing) Entertainment, which was revealed in December 2022. The series was announced at Hong Kong’s ongoing FilMart market. The project is adapted from the bestselling supernatural book series of the same name by popular Taiwanese writer Teensy, who is also the author and creator of “Agent From Above,” which has been adapted into a series for Netflix by mm2.
Naman Ramachandran Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service has acquired Makbul Mubarak’s award-winning debut feature, “Autobiography,” for the Southeast Asian region. The film, which is being sold by Alpha Violet, follows young Rakib (Kevin Ardilova), whose father is in prison and whose brother works abroad. He works as the housekeeper in a mansion in a rural Indonesian town belonging to retired general Purna (Arswendy Bening Swara). Purna returns to the town to start his mayoral election campaign and Rakib, whose clan has worked for the general’s family for centuries, serves as his assistant. An act of vandalism during the campaign triggers an escalating chain of violence.
Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Singapore’s Mocha Chai Laboratories and Emissary Pictures, a company that straddles New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia, have announced a strategic partnership for the development and production of cross-cultural films, series and content in Asia. The venture will have offices in all four countries and will identify, develop and produce content across genres and formats, including films, television series, documentaries and digital content. The agreement was announced in Hong Kong on the first day of the FilMart rights market. The pair say that they have scripted and unscripted projects in development and production. Slate details, however, remain under wraps as do distribution plans.
Naman Ramachandran Singaporean filmmaker Anthony Chen wears his producers hat at the Hong Kong — Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF) shepherding two projects from debut directors. Chen’s feature directorial debut “Ilo Ilo” (2013) won the Caméra d’Or at Cannes. His most recent film as director, “Drift,” bowed at Sundance earlier this year. As a producer, Chen’s recent credits include Locarno selection “Arnold Is a Model Student” and Busan selection and Red Sea winner “Ajoomma.” First up is the English-language animated feature “Skin Coat,” directed by Singapore’s Tan Wei Keong. Set in the 16th century, it will follow a son who returns to his village to see his aging parents, and his male lover has to put on a woman’s skin coat to accompany him back home.
EXCLUSIVE: Drift director Anthony Chen is gearing up to direct his first US-set project, Heartbeat: A New York Story, about the rarely-told experiences of the Asian gay community during the AIDS epidemic in 1980s New York.
Doyoung, Jaehyun and Jungwoo, members of the K-pop boyband NCT, are set to debut as a sub-unit.Earlier today (March 9), South Korean media outlet Sports Today reported that the three K-pop idols are set to form a trio sub-unit as part of their work with the boyband. Notably, the three singers previously worked together on the song ‘Can We Go Back’, which they performed at the 2022 MBC Gayo Daejejeon, as well as a Christmas medley posted on the official NCT YouTube channel.Their label SM Entertainment has since confirmed the report.
‘Riceboy Sleeps’ Scoops Top Canadian Film AwardAnthony Shim’s Riceboy Sleeps has won Canada’s biggest film award, the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award. The prize, decided by the Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA), comes with a CAN$100,000 ($72,000) cash prize. Riceboy Sleeps beat nominees Clement Virgo’s Brother and David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future. The semi-autobiographical film explores the challenges of living between two cultures through the tale of a Korean immigrant single mother raising her son in Canada. Shot in the Greater Vancouver area and Korea, the feature world premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2022, winning its Platform Prize, and then played in Busan and a raft of other festivals. The win comes as Toronto-based distributor Game Theory Films gears up for the title’s Canadian release on March 17. The feature will also be released in Korea, Singapore and the US in the coming months. “The Toronto film community has been so good to us since TIFF where this crazy journey first began and I hope to make more films in the future that will warrant the same type of support,” commented Shim.
While it's nothing new, and we're certainly not complaining, Harry Styles' name is inescapable right now.
Naman Ramachandran Janchivdorj Sengedorj’s “The Sales Girl” (Mongolia), Asif Rustamov’s “Cold As Marble” (Azerbaijan), Ken Kwek’s “#LookAtMe” (Singapore) and Nader Saeivar’s “No End” (Iran) were among the winners at the Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema on Tuesday. “The Sales Girl,” which played at Busan and won awards at the New York and Osaka Asian film festivals, won the Golden Cyclo, the festival’s top honor awarded by the international jury. “Cold as Marble,” which has played at Talinn Black Nights and the Goa festivals, took home three awards, including the grand jury prize and the Marc Haaz and Netpac jury prizes.
Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF) has increased its stake in Japanese film and TV studio Toei Company, from 5% to 6.03%, according to a report by the Reuters financial news agency. The move comes shortly after Toei published a ten-year plan for international expansion. Toei includes film and TV production operations, the T-Joy cinema chain and Toei Animation. Last month, it said that it had beaten its film revenue record, thanks to the success of titles including “The First Slam Dunk,” “The Legend of Butterfly” and “One Piece Film Red.” The stake increase also follows PIF’s February announcement that it had increased its stake in Japanese games and console maker Nintendo to 8.26% and that (along with the Singapore state fund GIC) was a buyer of a $966 million bond issue from Korean entertainment-tech firm Kakao Corp.
Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Global streaming operation Netflix is forecast to spend $1.9 billion on local content in the Asia-Pacific region this year as group revenue from the region accelerates to 12%, according to a new report. The content investment spending figure represents a 15% hike. Netflix will grow revenues this year by 12% year-on-year to exceed $4 billion compared with 9% growth in 2022, says a new report published on Monday by Media Partners Asia.
yeule’s music comes from a distinctly posthumanist perspective. So it’s only fitting that the remixes they’re so often tapped to make end up sounding more like full-on recreations, stripped for parts and rebuilt in the Singapore-born, London-based artist’s own cyborgian image. Premiering on The FADER today (March 1) is yeule’s take on “EASY PREY” — a track from Moderat’s 2022 album MORE D4TA — reimagined in collaboration with Kin Leonn (a fellow Singapore-born, London-based electronic experimentalist).
Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Multi-territory Asian streaming service Viu has publicly disclosed key performance metrics for the first time and said that it was cash flow positive on an annual basis in 2022. The company, which operates in 16 Asian and Middle East markets and is seen as a rare success story in regional streaming, counts Hong Kong conglomerate PCCW as its principal shareholder, which also unveiled its own profits and loss figures for the 2022 calendar year. Viu which operates both ad-supported and paying tiers, said that it had 66.4 monthly active users in 2022, an increase of 13% year-on-year. Paying subscribers increased by 45% to 12.2 million over the same period.
SM Entertainment boyband NCT’s “infinite” expansion will come to an end in 2023, the K-pop agency has confirmed.On February 25, SM Entertainment shared the latest in its series of videos about its new ‘SM 3.0’ strategy. In this video, SM’s co-CEOs Chris Lee and Tak Young-jun answered fan questions and also announced the end of boyband NCT’s expansion in 2023.
Goldston said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to work with this brilliant group to create premium content based on the most compelling true-life stories.” The launch of Goldston’s new non-fiction division is the latest in a series of initiatives driving Candle Media’s growth, beginning with the acquisitions of Hello Sunshine and Moonbug Entertainment in 2021, followed by eight additional acquisitions in the company’s first 12 months of operations. Candle has close to 1,000 employees, with offices in Los Angeles, London, New York, Nashville, Montreal, Mexico City, Tel Aviv, and Singapore. “We have known James for many years, through our collective time together at Disney,” Mayer and Staggs added.
Naman Ramachandran Singapore-based film marketing and distribution firm Continental Entertainment Pte. Ltd. (CEPL), which holds global distribution rights for Bangladeshi auteur Mostofa Sarwar Farooki’s “Saturday Afternoon,” will release the film in the U.S. and Canada through Reliance Entertainment. The Bengali-and-English-language film takes its cue from the brutal terrorist attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka in 2016, which took place on a quiet Saturday afternoon and left more than 20 people dead. It had considerable festival play, winning awards at Fukuoka, Moscow and Vesoul. The film was initially banned and had finally been cleared for release in January after a four year struggle with the Bangladesh Film Censor Board. However Bangladesh’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting appears to have taken a U turn and the situation remains fluid. Consequently, the film will open in the U.S. and Canada on March 10 before its Bangladesh release. It will also be released in other countries in subsequent months.
Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief The Vesoul International Film Festival of Asian Cinema has unveiled its 85-title lineup for the edition that starts later this month (February 28 to March 7, 2023). Elements include a 10-film competition section, a 10-film documentary film section, a tribute to the Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu; a thematic section “Asian Diaspora Cinema” offering a panorama of works by directors from Asian countries living in exile; and a Philippines cinema sidebar. Fiction films in competition include: Azerbaijan’s “Cold as Marble,” by Asif Rustamov; China’s “In Our Prime,” by Liu Yulin; Korea’s “A Letter from Kyoto,” by Kim Min-ju; India’s: “Behind Veils,” by Praveen Morshhale; Iran’s “No End,” by Nader Saievar; Mongolia’s “The Sales Girl,” by Sengedorj Janchivdorj; The Philippines’s “Feast,” by Brillante Mendoza; Singapore’s “#LookAtMe,” by Ken Kwek; and Vietnam’s “Memento Mori: Earth,” by Marcus Vu Manh Cuong. The president of the jury is Lee Yong-kwan, president of the Busan film festival.
Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Growth of premium video services in Southeast Asia accelerated in the second half of 2022, to reach 48.4 million paid subscriptions, according to a new report. But the same analysis sees growth slowing and costs accelerating. The latest report from Media Partners Asia, “SEA Online Video Consumer Insights & Analytics” shows 48.4 million paid online video subscriptions at the end of 2022 in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The full year saw 11.8 million net new customers, with 7.3 million of that total coming in the second half, including 4.6 million in the fourth quarter. Indonesia accounted for half of the increase.
Marta Balaga The Polish film industry is embracing variety and high-profile international collaborations, with a slew of new co-productions already generating buzz among buyers and festival programmers. “More and more established filmmakers, who used to look for collaborators in Romania or Hungary, are now coming to Poland — mostly because we are backed by concrete institutions and because there is money,” says producer Klaudia Śmieja-Rostworowska of Madants, heading to Berlinale’s European Film Market with “Ultima Thule” and Goran Stolevski’s “Housekeeping for Beginners.” “Our crews speak English and work abroad. We are visible internationally,” she adds.
EXCLUSIVE: Black Bear International has closed a raft of international deals on EFM titles Longlegs and Fred & Ginger, we can reveal. The two projects were among the most in-demand with foreign buyers and the deals account for the lion’s share of each film’s budget.
Naman Ramachandran Singapore and India-based Mumba Devi Motion Pictures is screening two films at Berlin’s European Film Market (EFM) and has unveiled a slate of future titles. The company, headed by producer Sweta Chhabria and producer-director Aditya Kripalani, makes issue-based films focusing on stories that are mostly to do with gender and burning topics like suicide prevention and mental health. The outfit makes it a point to minimize the male gaze by bringing on board heads of department who are all women. Kripalani and Chhabria’s just-completed Singapore-set film “Grand Sugar Daddy,” which has its market premiere at EFM on Feb. 18, follows a 70-year-old widower who is introduced to the world of Sugar Daddies and Sugar Babies. The film traces his conversations with a Singaporean Chinese woman, an Indian woman and a transgender Malay.
Naman Ramachandran Singapore-based film production outfit Potocol, whose “Tomorrow is a Long Time,” by Jow Zhi Wei bowed at the Berlin Film Festival’s Generation 14plus competition, has revealed a diverse Asian slate. Potocol’s recent triumphs include Bangladeshi filmmaker Abdullah Mohammad Saad’s Cannes selection “Rehana Maryam Noor” and Indonesian director Makbul Mubarak’s Venice winner “Autobiography.” The company, led by Jeremy Chua who is currently at the Berlinale, has a growing reputation for championing the rise of young filmmakers from across Asia. Potocol has four films in post-production and several more in development. Nicole Midori Woodford’s debut feature “Last Shadow at First Light” is a supernatural road trip drama that follows a Singaporean teenager tracing the footsteps of her missing mother in Japan and explores the ripple effects of a traumatic event subconsciously buried within the family unit.
Naman Ramachandran India’s Clapstem Entertainment, led by director-producer Girish Malik and producer Amardeep S. Reen, has completed film “Band of Maharajas,” which is set for a market screening at Berlin’s European Film Market (EFM). Malik’s directorial debut, ecological drama “Jal” (2013), was in Busan’s New Currents competition. His sophomore feature, refugee and sports themed “Torbaaz” (2020), headlined by Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt, was a Netflix original film. His third film “Band of Maharajas” is the story of three clueless young folk musicians from a remote border village in India who undertake an unplanned and unusual journey to Pakistan that changes their lives and music. The film has the tagline “While countries divide us, music unites us.”
“Soon, we’re going to add another Super Nintendo World to Universal Orlando Resort,” announced Universal Parks & Resorts Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Woodbury on Wednesday night at the grand opening event for the same-named attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood. He then admitted that the news may have been “the worst-kept secret in history.” You can watch the moment below.
Manori Ravindran Executive Editor of International Protagonist Pictures has sold out international on Rebecca Miller’s Berlinale opener “She Came to Me.” The Peter Dinklage-led film has sold into Sky for the U.K. and Ireland, Belga for Benelux, Originals Factory for France, Lusomundo for Portugal, Trip Pictures for Spain, M2 Eastern for Europe, Cinesky for Airlines, Aud for South Korea and Shochiku for Japan. In addition, Universal Pictures Content Group has made a multi-territory deal that spans Germany, Austria, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Scandinavia, Iceland, Switzerland, Israel, Middle East, South Africa, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand, Latin America, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Asia pay-TV rights.
a member of BTS is launching a tour without the rest of the group.Suga, 29, just announced his international solo tour that will send him to arenas all over the U.S. from April through May, followed by dates in Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Korea and Japan.The 11-concert North American leg of the tour will kick off in the Northeast when Suga plays back-to-back shows at Elmont, NY’s UBS Arena on April 26 and April 27.On April 29, the South Korean icon lands in the Garden State for a huge show at Newark’s Prudential Center.While there’s no word on whether or not Suga will play original songs he’s recorded as Agust D or BTS tracks, we do know the best way to find out is live.And if you’re a member of the BTS Army that needs tickets today, we’ve got you covered.Although inventory isn’t available on Ticketmaster until the Verified Fan pre-sale on Thursday, March 2, fans who want to ensure they have tickets ahead of time can purchase on sites like Vivid Seats before they’re officially on sale.Vivid Seats is a secondary market ticketing platform, and prices may be higher or lower than face value, depending on demand.They have a 100% buyer guarantee that states your transaction will be safe and secure and will be delivered before the event.A complete calendar including all of Suga’s U.S.
Patrick Frater Asia Bureau Chief Hong Kong-based sales agency Golden Network Asia has amassed a large collection of advanced sales on upcoming Jackie Chan-starring film “Ride On.” The film, pitched as an action dramedy and one in which Chan pays homage to old-school stunt men, has recently been given an April 7 release date in mainland China. The date also mark’s the star’s 69th birthday. The film has already been licensed to: Well Go USA for North America; Plaion Pictures for Germany; Eagle Pictures for Italy; SPI International for Eastern Europe, Benelux and Israel; AN Media for CIS; ATV for Turkey; Phars Film for Middle East; Twin Co. for Japan; Contents Panda for South Korea; Shanghai Pictures for Malaysia; Shaw Renters for Singapore; Eagle International for Taiwan and worldwide Airline; Prima Cinema for Indonesia; Pioneer Films for the Philippines and Indo Overseas Film for India.
Thania Garcia BTS’ Suga has unveiled a string of tour dates for his first solo trek outside of the K-pop supergroup. The tour has no official title just yet but has been tagged under Suga’s own name, as well as his other stage persona, Agust D. With the U.S. leg set to launch this spring, the tour will kick off with a pair of shows at the UBS Arena in Belmont Park, New York on April 26 and 27. Suga will then follow up with several performances in New Jersey, Illinois and California, with the U.S. run will closing in Oakland on May 16 and 17. Then the tour will hit Asia in Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and Japan (with those dates to be announced soon).
BTS rapper Suga has become the first member of the K-pop group to announce a solo world tour.The group went on hiatus last year and plan to reconvene in a group around 2025, with separate plans to launch their own solo projects and undertake mandatory military service duties. All able-bodied men in their home country of South Korea are legally required to serve a military term of 18-21 months.Now, Suga has announced a string of tour dates in the US and Asia for later this year.
Naman Ramachandran Banijay’s Endemol Shine India and Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan’s Black Knight Films will adapt hit Danish/Swedish scripted series “Bron/Broen” (“The Bridge”) for Indian audiences. ” ‘The Bridge’ is actually something that I was actively looking to produce. So I went looking for it,” Khan told Variety. The original show opens with a dead body on a border that is shared by two countries and the discovery leads to a joint investigation by the police forces of the two regions, forcing detectives from both sides to work together to solve the crime. The global success of “The Bridge” – which has aired in 188 countries – has led to its adaptation in multiple languages, set across the international borders of U.S./Mexico, U.K./France, Germany/Austria, Singapore/Malaysia and Russia/Estonia.
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