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KOREAN MOVIES UPCOMING

CJ ENM Hong Kong has secured the first and exclusive Pay TV, pay-per-view, video-on-demand and over-the-top (OTT) rights in key Southeast Asia markets to a slate of current and upcoming South Korean films. These are to play on the tvN Movies channel in Southeast Asia. Titles include: “The Roundup” (a.k.a. “The Outlaws 2”), which is currently on release and approaching the $100 million landmark; “The Witch: Part 2. The Other One,” which also opened in first place at the theatrical box office; CJ’s own Decision to Leave,” which earned Park Chan-wook the best director award at Cannes; disaster-action film, “Emergency Declaration,” which played at Cannes last year and will have an August release in Korea; Hyun Bin and Yoo Hae-jin-starring “Confidential Assignment 2”; Don Lee-starring comedy drama “Men of Plastic,” action thriller movie Decibel, from Megabox Plus M; “A Man of Reason” (formerly “The Protector”) directed by Jung Woo-sung; fact-based hostage crisis drama “The Point Men”; and “The Match,” another story based on real events, this time focusing on a Go master and his student, and starring Lee Byung-hun and Yoo Ah-in (“Voice of Silence”).

SOUTHEAST ASIA SUPPORT

iQiyi International, the offshore unit of Chinese entertainment company iQiyi, has teamed up with leading Thai cellular network and digital provider AIS to offer video streaming at less than a dollar per month. Its VIP Privilege plan will be available at THB35 per month for first-time subscribers. iQiyi says that its international subscriber base grew threefold in 2021 with Southeast Asia the leading cluster. But while it is clearly gaining traction with audiences in some parts of the region response has been uneven, with Thailand and Malaysia among the most responsive. The company announced that its first two Malaysian original shows are now in production and may be uploaded later in the year: marital comedy drama Sorry Naik Lori from local production house Tsar Asia; and dark romance Rampas Cintaku for MIP Productions.

HANDOVER PAGEANT

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule, the city’s government is to Friday put on a large-scale variety show at the Hong Kong Coliseum. Given that there was only one day of notice and the city’s ticketing agencies do not appear to be selling tickets, it would seem that the 12,500-seat venue will not be open to the public. Instead, the show will be broadcast simultaneously on six major TV clusters: Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB Jade), Now TV (Channel 331), Viu TV (Channel 99), Hong Kong Open TV (Channel 77), Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK TV Channel 31 and 32, RTHK Radio 2), Phoenix Satellite Television (Hong Kong Channel). Performances will come from three local flagship arts groups: Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra; Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra; and Hong Kong Dance Company.

SHORT FILM

Charlie Mackesy’s 2019 illustrated book “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” – which has sold over seven million copies worldwide and is the bestselling U.K. non-fiction hardback since records began, with over 120 weeks in the New York Times and Sunday Times top ten bestseller lists and rights sold in over 44 foreign languages – will be coming to BBC One and iPlayer as an animated short film this Christmas. Mackesy’s distinctive illustrations have been reimagined in full color with hand-drawn traditional animation in the film, which follows the unlikely friendship of a boy, a mole, a fox and a horse as they journey together in the boy’s search for home.

The voice cast includes Tom Hollander as the mole, Idris Elba as the fox, Gabriel Byrne as the hors and newcomer Jude Coward Nicoll as the boy. A Matthew Freud production of a Charlie Mackesy film, the project is produced by Cara Speller of NoneMore Productions and J.J. Abrams and Hannah Minghella of Bad Robot Productions. Co-directed by Charlie Mackesy and Peter Baynton, the film is adapted from the original book in collaboration with Jon Croker. The original score is by Isobel Waller-Bridge, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and conducted by Geoff Alexander. It was acquired by Charlotte Moore, BBC chief content officer and Ayela Butt, BBC Drama commissioning executive.

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“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” BBC/Bad Robot

TABLE READ

Ghetto Film School London hosted a star-studded table read of student scripts last Thursday.

Christopher Eccleston (“Dodger”), Sophie Simnett (“Daybreak”), Deborah Findlay (“The Split”) and Razan Nassar (“Top Boy”) attended the event where they read through two scripts: “Yggdrasils Bloödbärn” by Evani Emily Harradine and “Stronger” (Sterkari) by Luna Garcia.

Harradine and Garcia also received feedback from SISTER co-founder Jane Fatherstone, Netflix’s Alice Pearse, Sky Studios’ Gabriel Silver and “Moonknight” actor Díana Bermudez. Also present in the audience were SISTER co-founder Elisabeth Murdoch and COO Dan Isaacs.

This year was the first time the annual event was able to take place in person, hosted at House of KOKO in Camden.

The Ghetto Film School is an organization dedicated to developing and educating screen creatives including writers, directors and producers.