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Taiwan LGBT Platform GagaOOLala Adds Gol Studios Production Hub

Hong Kong director Kit Hung’s new film “Forever 17” is among the first projects to be supported by Gol Studios, a new LGBT production platform launched by Jay Lin’s Taiwan-based Portico Media.

Aiming to take LGBT cinema into the mainstream, Gol Studio is a crowdsourcing website that helps film projects on three fronts: helping productions find talent, crew and funding; distribution; and crowdsourced marketing.

The initiative is a sister operation of GagaOOLala, Asia’s first LGBT-focused OTT platform. In the three years since launch, it has become a well-known player in the industry, with 150,000 members and 1,000 titles from all over the world. The platform now operates in Taiwan and covers all of Southeast Asia including Hong Kong and Macau.

Gol Studios is also partnering with Zero Chou for the third installment of her “Six Asian Cities Rainbow Project,” a series of films about different LGBTQ issues, each set in a different location. The new film, set in Singapore, follows 2017’s “We Are Gamily” and “The Substitute,” shot in Beijing and Chengdu, respectively. Other projects include Chen Hung-I’s “As We Like It,” a sequel to his all-female “Candy Rain” from 2008.

The first slate of projects can count on the mentoring support of industry experts including John Badalu, producer of “Malila: The Farewell Flower,” documentary filmmaker S. Leo Chiang (“Time Machine,” “Out Run”) and director Nelson Yeh, author of Taiwan’s first Netflix Original “A Taiwanese Tale of Two Cities.”

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The Portico-backed GagaOOLala is also building a slate of original content. Its first feature, “Tale of the Lost Boys,” by Joselito Altarejos, was a co-production between Taiwan and the Philippines. Its original docu-series “Queer Asia” has now shot seasons in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan and Vietnam. Future seasons are planned in Myanmar, South Korea, India and Thailand.

Further ongoing content localization of GagaOOLala is intended to help its content reach audiences in places where LGBT representation in media is almost nonexistent. GagaOOLala is also adding India and South Asia. The company calls this a “logical decision” after the Indian Supreme Court’s decision to finally remove penalties for same-sex relationships.

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