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SALES

Distribution outfit Abacus Media Rights has announced sales on several documentary features and non-fiction series at the ongoing Asian Television Forum, which is part of the Singapore Media Festival.

“Rhys Darby: Big in Japan,” “Griff’s Great Kiwi Road Trip,” “Griff’s Great Australian Rail Trip” and “The Helper” have been acquired by National Geographic, while “Outback Lockdown,” “Alone Across the Arctic” and “Surviving the Outback” have been sold to The Outdoor Channel (Asia). Wowow Japan will air music documentaries “Lennon’s Last Weekend” and “Whitney: Can I Be Me.” RTHK Hong Kong has secured “Toxic Beauty.”

iwonder has picked up a few documentary features for its Asia and Australia markets, including “Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards,” “Jihad Jane,” “People You May Know,” “Redeemed and the Dominant: Fittest on Earth,” “Sound City” and “In Search of the Last Action Heroes.”

Intellectual Property

Singapore-based Darpan Global has acquired audio-visual rights for Neelima Dalmia Adhar’s bestselling 2017 novel “Merchants of Death” and will adapt it as a multiple season series to be shot across India, Singapore and the U.K. Inspired by true events, the story is set in India in the second half of the 19th century, and spans 100 years, exploring the lives of a leading business household that builds the biggest arms corporation in India and across borders. Soumik Sen (“Mahalaya”) will serve as showrunner.

Sen has also created series “Beetroot” for Darpan. A comic antitheses of the vampire stereotype, it will follow a 150-year-old vegan vampire who lives with his 200-year-old mother who craves blood. Beetroot juice keeps her blood lust at bay.

Set up by Sreyashi Sen, Darpan is a content distributor across Southeast Asia, which has branched out into production. The company recently produced short “Solitude,” set in Singapore during COVID times, and two social motivation programs for the Singapore Government, aimed at migrant construction workers, titled “Our Stories Your Stories” and ” Our Songs Your Songs.”

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“Possessions” Studiocanal

ACQUISITIONS

Studiocanal has sold psychological thriller series “Possessions,” and sci-fi drama series “War of the Worlds” to Korean streamer Watcha. “Possessions” stars Nadia Tereszkiewicz, who won best actress at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2019, and will launch on HBO Max this month. “War of the Worlds” stars Gabriel Byrne and Daisy Edgar Jones.

EXPANSION

2013 Singapore short “Lying Theory” is being expanded to become a five-episode drama series by original creator Lauren Teo and Viddsee Studios. The story follows Claire, who gains the ability to know when someone is telling a lie, following a birthday wish she made when she turned twelve. Wielding this truth-discerning sight, Claire grows into a lonesome misanthrope, until she meets Larry, who has never lied before.

ANIMATION 

7 Steps Productions has announced an MOU with BattleBrew Productions to develop an animation series based on the latter’s popular video game, “BattleSky Brigade.” Targeted for release in 2022, the series will be set in the game’s airborne island town.

LAUNCH

Asian E-sports and tech-centric entertainment channel TechStorm has launched in Taiwan through partnerships with Taiwan’s Portico Media and Online Media. Currently available across 96 platform partners, the launch marks the network’s ninth country launch, following traction in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka.