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Netflix Buys Taiwan Black Comedy ‘Dear Ex’

Netflix has added to its roster of Mandarin-language content with the acquisition of rights to Taiwanese dark comedy “Dear Ex.” The award-winning film will play out from Feb. 1.

The story involves a recently bereaved widow and a gay man fighting over a dead man’s inheritance, with the woman’s teenage son caught in the middle. It was directed by Hsu Chih-yen and Mag Hsu from a script by Mag Hsu and Lu Shih-yuan. The cast includes Roy Chiu, Hsieh Ying-xuan, Spark Chen and Joseph Huang.

The picture premiered in April at the Festival of Far East Film in Udine and began its commercial release through Warner Bros. in Taiwan from Nov. 2. Along the way it appeared at the Taipei Busan and Macau festivals. It picked up awards for best actress for Hsieh at the Golden Horse Awards; best feature film, best actor, best actress, and media recommendation at the Taipei Film Festival; and best director at the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival.

“From the themes and cast to the decision to land on Netflix as our exclusive global premiere platform, every choice was an experiment,” said director and writer Mag Hsu. “We have shone a spotlight on the forces behind different kinds of family values for audiences in Taiwan and across Asia. Now, we want to show the world the growing momentum in Mandarin-language films.”

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