Veteran festival programmer, Anderson Le has teamed up with a group of Asian-American and Asian filmmakers to launch creative studio East. Its objective is hatching pan-Asian stories for a global audience.
The new outfit will have offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Los Angeles and have activities that stretch from development, financing and production through to consulting. Its triple remit covers localized genre films, Pan-Asian streaming series, and arthouse fare.
The East team comprises co-founders Bao Nguyen, Phan Gia Nhat Linh, filmmaker Ham Tran (“Journey From The Fall,” “Hollow,” “Bitcoin Heist”), producer Jenni Trang Le (“Let Hoi Decide,” Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods”), attorney Linh Truong, producer Kenneth Nguyen, startup executive Lee Ngo and Le, who has worked on Asian film programming at the Hawaii International Film Festival, Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy, and the Singapore International Film Festival.
“(It is) an opportune time to collectively come together and develop high-caliber content for the robust Vietnamese theatrical market and the emerging interest of major streaming platforms like Netflix for the Southeast Asian and global markets,” said Le in a prepared statement.
The company had a soft launch last year as co-producer of “Rom,” a debut feature by Tran Thanh Huy. The film debuted in competition at the Busan festival in Korean, where it won the New Currents Grand Prize.
In January, East went to Sundance with Nguyen’s latest film “Be Water,” a documentary on the life and legacy of Bruce Lee. It had its world premiere in U.S. Dramatic Feature competition and is set for North American broadcast on ESPN in the fall, as part of the sports broadcaster’s 30 on 30 documentary series. East and ESPN co-produced.
Among East’s development projects is sci-fi satire “Dogcow” by successful Vietnamese Phan Gia Nhat Linh (“Sweet 20,” “The Girl From Yesterday”). “Dogcow” participated in the NAFF project market at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival last year where it won the Bound Entertainment award. Korean production firm Bound, headed by Samuel Ha (Bong Joon-ho’s “Okja” and “Snowpiercer”) has joined as producing partner and co-financier for the film, which is now in pre-production.