In a deal which transforms a local project into an international production, Taiwan’s Tydal Productions has struck a co-production deal with the Czech Republic’s Lonely Production to make “Malice,” a potentially arresting high-sea thriller to be directed by Lungyin Lim.

Set up at Lungyin Lim’s Tydal Productions and Aview Images, both based in Taiwan, “Malice” is produced by Aview Images’s SheeHeng Kuek and Ivy Shen Yu-hua.

Scheduled to shoot from December 2023, it will now be co-produced by Prague’s Lonely Production, founded by producer-director Michal Sikora.

Lonely Production will oversee the post-production package in the Czech Republic and Europe. Lim has a preference for shooting in Super 16 mm with digital VFX, European expertise feeding into the traditional film process. This will extend the film’s creative possibilities and production quality, Kuek said.

Kuek has been moving “Malice” at Locarno Pro’s Match Me! where it one of the networking event’s buzz titles. He told Variety that the partners are now looking to co-produce with France, Germany, Estonia or Indonesia.

In “Malice,” four years before its action, an accident chasing a giant swordfish took killed Captain Fu’s elder son. On the verge of retirement and about to abandon his boat Victory as younger son Ree aims to transform the family business, Fu is approached by a foreign boy, Ruan, who tells him that the fish is still out there.

Fu, Ree and Ruan – a expert harpooner with a killer instinct haunted by childhood memories as a war refugee – set out on an obsessive journey to catch and kill the giant swordfish. Their obsessions spell their doom. Only one will return.

“Nowadays, we value a peaceful civil lifestyle in which we strive to become our ideal selves, but what if there is an alternative in which we can face and co-exist with the killer instincts we are born with, and live so without bias?” Lungyin Lim asked in a director’s statement.

“‘Malice’ is the story of three men who go on a journey to look for the long-gone giant swordfish, sketching the bloodthirstiness and the dark side of human nature on a dangerous sea,” said Kuek. “For me, it’s the most fascinating part of ‘Malice,’ which also urges me to go on a journey with director Lungyin Lim, Ivy Shen and Michal Sikora.”

Making shorts such as “Ping” (2013) and “O” (2015), writer-director Lungyin Lim broke out with 2019’s “Ohong Village,”

set at an oyster farm village in the remotest part of southern Taiwan and again mostly shot in Super 16 mm. It won the Ciputti Award at the 2019 Turin Film Festival.

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Michal Sikora, Ivy Shen Yu-hua, Lungyin Lim and SheeHeng Kuek