×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

AFM: XYZ Boards Bradley Liew’s ‘Motel Acacia’ in North America (EXCLUSIVE)

XYZ Films, the U.S.-based sales and production firm specializing in genre films, has picked up North American representation rights to Bradley Liew’s elevated horror movie “Motel Acacia.” XYZ will open it up to distributors at this week’s American Film Market in Santa Monica.

The film is set to start principal photography at the end of November in Philippines and Slovenia. It is targeting a 2019 release.

Malaysian-born, Philippines-based Liew saw his debut feature “Singing in Graveyards” premier at the Venice Film Festival’s Critics Week in 2016. It went on to 30 festivals and won awards in Malaysia and Kolkata.

Set in a fictional snowy U.S., the film is about a young Filipino man who is groomed by his tyrannical Caucasian father to take over a voyeuristic sex motel with a bed that eats men and impregnates women. The screenplay was co-written by Liew and producer Bianca Balbuena, who was last year awarded Asia Pacific Screen Awards FIAPF Achievement in Film, and Asian Film Commissions AFCnet’s Producer of the Year.

“Hotel Acacia” has a cast that includes Indonesian high-profile actor Nicholas Saputra (“What They Dont Talk About When They Talk About Love”,) Belgian actor Jan Bijvoet (“Embrace of the Serpent, TV’s “Peaky Blinders”,) JC Santos, Angel Aquino from the Philippines, Malaysia’s Bront Palarae (TV’s “Satan’s Slaves”), Thailand’s Vithaya Pansringarm (Only God Forgives), Talia Zucker, and U.S./Australian Will Jaymes (“Beast”).

Leading Asian crew members include Lee Chatametikool (“Shutter”,) co-editor Benjamin Tolentino, cinematographer Larry Manda (“North The End of History”,) and production designers Benjamin Padero and Carlo Tabije.

The film was extensively developed through international development laboratories. These included the Jerusalem Film Lab, with script doctor Clare Downs, EAVE Ties That Bind, Talents Tokyo, BiFan’s NAFF IT Project, and the Berlinale Co-Production Market.

“This film is a projection of monsters – monsters from the Southeast Asian folklore and the monsters within us – humans. This is a story of a young man’s emancipation both sexually and spiritually. The film also speaks about the power of the female form and how it leads men to their demise. How men seek to dominate women, but always end up worst for it,” said Liew, in a director’s statement.

More Film

  • 'All These Small Moments' Review

    Film Review: 'All These Small Moments'

    The magic of writer-director Melissa B. Miller Costanzo’s “All These Small Moments” can be found within the intimacy of the scenarios, the authenticity of her earnest characterizations, and the accessibility of the actors’ honest performances. In her deftly polished directorial debut, Costanzo dovetails the primary story about a teen’s coming of age with a secondary [...]

  • Bruce Tufeld Dead: Hollywood Agent and

    Hollywood Agent and Manager Bruce Tufeld Dies at 66

    Bruce Tufeld, a Hollywood agent and manager who once repped stars like Rob Lowe, Laura Dern, and Kelsey Grammer, died Tuesday in Los Angeles as a result of complications from liver cancer. He was 66. The son of respected television announcer Richard “Dick” Tufeld and Adrienne Tufeld, Bruce began his career as an assistant at ICM [...]

  • Bruce Dern

    Film News Roundup: Bruce Dern's 'The Lears' Bought by Vertical for February Release

    In today’s film news roundup, Bruce Dern’s “The Lears” and “Angels Are Made of Light” are acquired, Cold War drama “Stanley Cage” is launched and a documentary about Madonna’s early music career gets a release. ACQUISITIONS Vertical Entertainment has acquired North American rights from NeoClassics Films to “The Lears,” starring Bruce Dern in a modern-day [...]

  • Octavia Spencer Bryce Dallas Howard

    Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard to Reunite for Comedy 'Fairy Tale Ending'

    Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard will reunite for the ensemble comedy “Fairy Tale Ending.” Jim Hecht (“Ice Age: The Meltdown) and Tracy McMillan (“Marvel’s Runaways”) are writing the screenplay. Howard will also produce the Universal movie through her Nine Muses Entertainment alongside Eric Carlson and Susan Carlson. Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins will produce [...]

  • Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at DuArt

    Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at New York's DuArt Film Labs, Dies at 88

    Robert Smith, a longtime executive with New York’s DuArt Film Labs, died Jan. 11 in Montvale, N.J. He was 88. Smith spent some 62 years with DuArt, the film processing and post-production facility founded in 1922 in the penthouse of an automobile garage in Midtown. Smith rose to president of DuArt before retiring in 2015. [...]

  • Bird Box

    Los Angeles On-Location Feature Filming Surges 12.2% in 2018

    On-location feature filming in Greater Los Angeles expanded impressively in 2018, gaining 12.2% to 4,377 shooting days, according to FilmL.A. Production activity for feature films rose 15.5% to 1,078 shooting days during the fourth quarter, with 146 days coming from projects receiving California tax credits — including Netflix’s “Bird Box,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content