The largest video-on-demand service in South-East Asia, HOOQ, announced the six titles for pilot development from its inaugural HOOQ Filmmakers Guild 2017.
The confirmed 2017 selections are Bhak (India), Suay (Thailand), Haunt Me (Singapore), How To Be A Good Girl (Singapore), Aliansi (Indonesia) and Heaven and Hell (Indonesia). The six were selected from some 500 submissions received by HOOQ over a two-month period from all over South East Asia.
The six entries that have been earmarked for pilots span a range of genres.
India’s winning entry, Bhak, is a colourful dramedy that follows the adventures of two ambitious young filmmakers in the Bollywood film industry. Written by Arjun Chatterjee and Shreyom Ghosh from Big3 Media, it explores themes of passion, betrayal and love.
Suay, a Thai crime thriller by Marcelo von Schwartz, follows the story of ladyboy go-go dancer Lola, who receives a cut-off ear belonging to her best friend and mentor, Carly. She is then forced to draw upon her past identity as a tough male private detective and descend into the underbelly of Bangkok.
Supernatural drama Haunt Me, by Oman Dhas and Goh Ming Siu from Third Floor Pictures, follows the story of Kwong, a widower, who after his father’s death, moves into his family ancestral home and discovers his family’s secret sacred destiny; guiding lost souls to the other side.
The other Singaporean entry, How To Be A Good Girl, comes from Abundant Productions and follows former socialite turned ex-convict, Frances Lee, who is looking to reclaim her life after time behind bars.
The Indonesian winning entries reflect two ends of the genre sprectrum. Aliansi is an offbeat comedy by Muttaqiena Imaamaa. 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.
By contrast, Bobby Prabowo & Eric Tiwa’s Heaven and Hell, takes us into the world of the Eastern Indonesia mafia. When a gang war 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 becoming the head of the crime world.
HOOQ has also selected five more submissions for script development. The selections are Crazy in Love (Indonesia), Golden Star (Philippines), Merit Score (Thailand), ReLie (Thailand), and Trips (Singapore).
While these submissions are not ready to be developed into pilots, they hold enough merit and potential to become compelling stories that will appeal to audiences around South-East Asia. HOOQ is investing in the potential of these ideas by developing them into scripts.
“The HOOQ Filmmakers Guild has really highlighted the immense talent out in Asia and the selection process for the top six pilots announced earlier was not an easy task. The fact that we could pick out five more brilliant ideas on top of the six we already chose for pilot development means this region is a hot bed for creative talent. We are excited and committed to developing these talents and helping them turn their vision into your next favorite series!” said Peter Bithos, HOOQ CEO.