Singapore-based Aurora Media Holdings, one of Southeast Asia’s leading media companies, has optioned and boarded India-South Korean co-production “The Yellow Jade” as a producer, alongside India’s Stray Factory and India/Singapore outfit Magic Hour Films. The deal was struck at Busan’s Asian Project Market. Aurora group managing partner Justin Deimen, pictured above, will produce with Stray Factory’s Mathivanan Rajendran and Magic Hour’s Samir Sarkar. Vijay Jayapal (“Revelations”) will direct. The companies are meeting potential Korean co-producers at the market.
Aurora has also completed the funding that Stray Factory, Magic Hour, Uncombed Buddha, Stop Whinging and Harman Ventures sought for Jayapal’s “Nirvana Inn” at the Asian Project Market.
“The Yellow Jade” cuts between the past and the present. In the past, Korean King Suro dreamed that the heavens would choose his bride. A South Indian princess sailed across the seas in a red vessel, and married him to become Queen Heo Hwang-Ok. Meanwhile in present-day Korea, an engineer has baffling recurring dreams of a mysterious foreign bride. When he is sent on an assignment to Chennai, South India, he falls in love with a local theater artist. While navigating unfamiliar territory, he uncovers surprising connections between Tamil and Korean cultures.
The Queen’s tomb is located in Gimhae, home to Busan’s international airport.
The producers are looking at casting a leading Korean actor and an Indian actress with international appeal.
“We’re confident in the global appeal of the films and shaping them for the ever-evolving mainstream audience around the world. We’re interested in exploring new markets around the world, and forging paths ahead for unique co-production and distribution strategies,” Deimen told Variety.
“Tamil and Korean Culture have had a historical connection for over 1,500 years,” says Rajendran. “A connection long-forgotten till Hyundai set up a plant in Chennai. The similarities between our languages and traditions are vastly unexplored and we are hoping this film will give us the opportunity to do so and bring us closer.”
“During a road trip a few years ago on the Chennai-Bangalore highway, I (stumbled upon) a Korean department store, which really intrigued me and (I found out) that Chennai is home to a huge contingent of Korean expatriates,” says Jayapal. “This story just adds more strength to the deeply existing inter-cultural and inter-personal bond between Chennai and Korea. No film has ever been made before about this unique connection.”
Aurora’s 2018 slate includes Indonesian co-production “Abracadabra,” starring Reza Rahadian; Australian co-production “Storm Boy,” featuring Jai Courtney; U.S. co-production “Stano,” starring Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara; Switzerland/France co-production “The Song of Scorpions,” starring Golshifteh Farahani and Irrfan Khan; and Laotian co-production “The Long Walk.”