Singaporean composer Rich Ho Kok Tai makes his feature film directorial debut with “Heavens: The Boy and His Robot,” a sci-fi project about the relationship between a young pilot and his humanoid companion. Ho, who wrote, directed and produced, was previously a member of the 2008 edition of the Berlin Film Festival’s Talent Campus.
Co-written by Katharine Chong, and starring Jonathan See, the film is conceived as part of a multi-layered, connected and immersive universe that will be exploited across multiple media platforms including games, TV and films. It is currently in post-production in Australia, where it is assembling visual effects that include robot technology and 3D animation.
The film builds on the mecha Japanese-originated anime genre that has spawned franchises such as “Transformers,” “Pacific Rim,” and “Real Steel.” Ho says that he is giving the genre a positive and family friendly spin, as the hero and his mecha join an elite force to protect the galaxy.
“Heavens” is produced by Ho’s Richmanclub Studios and Heavens Entertainment, with international rights outside China handled by Arclight Films, which will pitch it at the EFM. It is executive produced by Arclight’s Gary Hamilton, Tan Book Chok, Poh Kiat, Sherman Ng, Richard Stewart, Penny Wall and Grant Bradley.
Ho set up Richmanclub in 2004 as a production company before adding music and post-production arms. He wrote, produced, edited and directed “Alien Invasion,” a short film that played at the Golden Horse Film Festival in Taiwan the following year.
Production took place in New Zealand and Singapore. The post-production is supported by the Australian federal government’s Post, Digital and Visual Effects Offset system and the State of Queensland.