HBO Asia posted a press event in Hong Kong last week to unveil a line-up of brand new Asian original productions that are scheduled to premiere soon. The upcoming projects include an anthology drama series, a crime drama, a sci-fi thriller and the second season of a coming-of-age drama series.
Actors Vivian Hsu, David Wang and James Wen, directors Eric Khoo and Billy Christian and executive producer, Cheang Pou-Soi were present to share insights about the upcoming productions, which in Thailand will be available on HBO’s online streaming platform, HBO GO and the on-demand service, HBO On Demand.
“Over the past 7 years, we have recognised the significance and importance of locally produced programming. Since 2012, the number of Asian original productions has been increasing and they have all proven to be very effective for us. We are encouraged to learn that our Asian productions are working well across the region, especially those in local languages,” said Jonathan Spink, chief executive of HBO Asia.
Series premiering soon on HBO Asia’s network of channels are “Dream Raider” – HBO Asia’s first science fiction drama series. The eight-episode hour-long series brings together production expertise from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and features a cast and crew including actors Vivian Hsu, David Wang, Jason Wang, Weber Yang and Ellen Wu. Set in the near future, “Dream Raider” features a misfit team of scientists and cops that are trying to get to the bottom of a criminal conspiracy that exploits human consciousness. The series opens with a criminal police officer who is investigating a case of missing girls and uncovers a mysterious cutting-edge technology that enables them to enter the dreamscapes of others to find the truth. The series is produced with the support of the Taipei Film Commission and Taipei Cultural Foundation.
“Food Lore” is an eight-episode hour-long anthology series that explores the human condition with narratives inspired by and showcased through the perspectives of Asian cuisines, weaving tales of the tastes and aromas that have filled the Asian souls – tales of longing and forbidden passion, of connection and loss, of childhood memory.
Helmed by award-winning Singaporean filmmaker Eric Khoo, the series is shot in eight countries across Asia and directed by some of Asia’s most talented storytellers including Don Aravind (Singapore), Billy Christian (Indonesia), Takumi Saitoh (Japan), Ho Yuhang (Malaysia), Erik Matti (Philippines), Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (Thailand) and Phan Dang Di (Vietnam).
“Food Lore” is produced as part of a two-year partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) in Singapore. Through a series of workshops and collaborations with local companies and talent on HBO Asia Original productions, the partnership aims to develop the content production capabilities of Singapore’s media industry.
“The Teenage Psychic” continues on from the success of the first season with the eight-episode hour-long second season. The coming-of-age Taiwan drama series returns with Kuo Shu Yau reprising her lead role as Xiao Zhen, a psychic born with the ability to see spirits and learning to use her abilities to help others. Starring alongside her will be new cast members including two-time Golden Bell Award-winning actress, Wen Chen-Ling and rising star, Fandy Fan. The new season sees Xiao Zhen back from her summer break and determined to have a fresh start at school, but life is not that simple, especially when she is still coming to terms with the loss of the love of her life. Things get even more complicated with the arrival of Zhan Xiao Tong (played by Wen Chen-Ling ), a soft spoken yet resourceful new member of the drama club. Juggling the multiple pressures from school, the drama club and the demands of the spirit world, things are about to take a turn for the worse for the 17-year-old.
“The World Between Us” is a 10-part hour-long Taiwanese drama series that follows the aftermath of a mass-shooting where all parties involved – the killer, the victims, the victims’ families, the media and the defence teams, whose fates are all intertwined. Shot entirely in Taiwan, the series features an all-star ensemble cast from Taiwan including Alyssa Chia, James Wen and Wu Kang-Jen. The series is directed by award-winning filmmaker, Lin Chun-Yang and written by the Lu Shih-Yuan. The series is produced by Taiwanese broadcaster, Public Television Service (PTS), and will be jointly distributed by HBO Asia and Catchplay outside of Asia. “The World Between Us” premieres in Asia on Sunday, March 24 with two back-to-back episodes from 8pm onwards exclusively on HBO except in Taiwan where the series will be available on HBO, PTS and CATCHPLAY.
Two new episodes will debut at the same time every Sunday. The series will also be available on HBO GO via AIS Play and AIS Playbox.