88Rising co-founder Jaeson Ma and former Vice Media executive Eric Tu are joining forces to launch EST Studios, an independent finance, production and sales outfit geared towards the Asian marketplace.
Launching just ahead of the European Film Market — which officially kicks off Feb. 10 — the company specializes in premium film and episodic content.
Ma (pictured, left) will serve as the company chairman and co-CEO, with Tu (right) serving as co-founder and co-CEO. The duo will bring their vast knowledge of Asia-based investment, entertainment and technology industries to forge new partnerships with filmmakers from the East and introduce new premium Asian film and television IP to global audiences.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, EST Studios has offices in New York, Taipei and Vietnam. They will soon have offices in China, South Korea, India, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore. The company is eyeing an annual slate of 15 projects that they will be financing, producing and representing for sales at global film markets such as the EFM, Cannes and the AFM. An executive team of film sales and distribution veterans is currently being assembled.
EST Studios will represent all genres of Asian content in the international marketplace. In addition to worldwide sales and distribution, the outfit will also partner with Asian talent on global-facing film and TV projects.
“The steady rise in popularity of Asian content all over the world is a testament to the potential for the continent to become a powerhouse in entertainment,” said Ma. “The team we’ve assembled at EST Studios has the experience and relationships that will bring together the best from East and West to tell the stories that can unite us.”
Tu added: “Building upon the global success stories of Asian IP like South Korean thriller ‘Squid Game,’ there is an incredible opportunity for EST Studios to be the first definitive global media company that can unify the voices of Asian filmmakers around the world. EST was born to build this bridge from Asia to the World.’
Ma is a media executive, artist, investor and serial entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of web3 creator platform OP3N. He is also a strategic advisor and financier of social music video app Triller, and the co-founder of production studio Stampede Ventures, digital music label 88rising, ZASH Global Media and brand strategy and investment firm East West Ventures.
Prior to EST, Tu was leading brand partnerships at Anonymous Content’s creative incubator The Lab. Prior to that, he was U.S. director of partnerships at Vice Media’s creative agency Virtue Worldwide (producers of Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” album). An award-winning advertising executive, Tu and his team won eight Cannes Lions for AdCouncil PSA “Love Has No Labels.”