The six-part, hour-long coming of age story about a girl who can see spirits is produced jointly with Taiwanese broadcaster, Public Television Service (PTS) and Singaporean production company, InFocus Asia (IFA).
It was conceived by IFA with 29-year-old Taiwanese writer-director, Chen Ho-Yu, as an adaptation of award-winning short film “The Busy Young Psychic,” from PTS’s Innovative Stories strand. The film won best short film at the Taipei Film Festival, and a prize at the Golden Bell Awards for best editing.
“Psychic” is being filmed in Chinese and local dialect. It will debut early 2017 on PTS, and across 23 territories on HBO, with subtitles where relevant.
The cast is headed by Taiwanese singer-actress Yao Yao with other recurring characters played by Kent Tsai (“Mon Mon Mon Monsters”) and Chen Mu Yi (“Comes The Black Dog”.) Yao Yao plays a 16-year old girl who must juggle the pressures of teenage life – first love, academic success and peer pressure – with the demands of the spirit world. Her powers also become a danger as others seek to use them for their own purposes.
“Through collaborating with PTS and remarkable talents in Taiwan to increase our production of local language content, HBO Asia is perfectly placed to bring our creative spin to ‘The Psychic’ for regional audiences to enjoy,” said Jonathan Spink, CEO of HBO Asia in a statement.
“I am very happy to announce PTS’s first collaboration with HBO Asia on their first Chinese original series, also their first Taiwan series, working with a young and upcoming local team, bridging the gap between television and film with the talented mix of crew and actors. Cultivating local young talents and helping them to connect with the international industry is PTS’s top priority,” said Jessie Shih, director of international department, at PTS.
In the past three years HBO has ramped up its involvement in local production of original content in Asia. Last week it announced its first collaboration with China Movie Channel on an anthology of Chinese martial arts movies, with Hong Kong action director, Corey Yuen, executive producing the first two movies.