GHY Culture & Media, a mainland China-focused entertainment company from Singapore, has launched a slate of short drama series that it says mirror the professionally-generated short format developed by Chinese platforms Douyin and Bilibili. Its first three are fantasy “Goddess Hotel,” urban fantasy-light comedy “Miss Tanya” and sci-fi comedy “Ability Bureau.” Each short drama series is slated to run for 2 or 3 seasons, with 12 to 16 episodes per season, and each episode delivered at approximately 3 minutes. Involving Singapore production teams and actors, each project is estimated to cost between S$350,000 to S$1.6 million ($250,000 – $1.15 million) to produce. GHY describes the slate as Singapore-China collaborations, but it does not disclose if there is a Chinese co-producer. Instead, it reveals that they will be simultaneously released on Douyin and TikTok, Douyin’s global English counterpart, with versions in English, Bahasa Indonesian and Thai. GHY says that it aims to establish a cultural bridge between Singapore, Southeast Asia and Chinese markets for brands and consumers and that its films will appeal chiefly to women over 25 and Gen Z populations.
Entertainment One (eOne) has hired Christopher Kennedy as development executive — U.K., television, reporting into Sharon Hughff, creative director, scripted television –- U.K., who joined in February from Left Bank Pictures. In his new role, based in London, Kennedy will oversee development for the studio’s original scripted drama slate, with a focus on nurturing strong relationships with top-tier U.K. talent to bring fresh stories to buyers in Europe and worldwide.
Kennedy joins from Universal International Studios, where he helped spearhead the studio’s creative push into continental Europe. During his tenure, he shepherded the development of series including “Everyone Else Burns” (Channel 4), “Dodger” (BBC), and worked on Peter Kosminsky’s “Darkness Rising” (Channel 4/Peacock).
RETURN OF THE RED CARPET
The Asian Academy Creative Awards are to return as an in-person event in Singapore after two years using a virtual stage. The Grand Awards will be held on Wednesday Dec. 7, 2022, and the gala and red carpet on Dec. 8. The National winners conference will be staged across the morning of the same two days. The confirmed dates mean that the AAAs align with the Singapore Media Festival umbrella event that also includes the Singapore Film Festival, conferences and the ATF rights market. The awards and gala final will be staged over two evenings Chijmes Hall, an historic chapel that was the location for the wedding scene in “Crazy Rich Asians.” “Within our region, the pandemic is still upper mind so, we’ll be staging the awards across four unique sessions, and turning around the audience each time, to ensure a more controlled environment” said Academy CEO Fiona McKay.
Universal Music Vietnam and METUB, the leading Vietnamese MCN and mass media company, have launched a new label, monoX. The label is positioned to find, develop and introduce new Vietnamese artists into the spotlight. The label is headed by CEO Kendall Nguyen. The label’s first signing is Wren Evans, a Vietnamese singer, songwriter, influencer and fashionista, whose latest single “Con Dau” (aka “The Pain”) was released three weeks ago. “We are able to provide a one-stop shop for artists. The launch of monoX as a standalone new label will provide Vietnamese artists new opportunities to find success and build audiences, both at home and globally,” said Lan Khanh Phung, GM of Universal Music Vietnam.
Former “Love Island” star Olivia Attwood will delve into cosmetic surgery for “Olivia Attwood’s Perfect Body,” commissioned for ITV and streamer ITVX and produced by Optomen Television.
As a veteran of cosmetic procedures, in each episode Attwood will investigate a different part of the body. She will embed herself with patients and practitioners, discovering the range of procedures now available and why so many people are so keen to undergo them.
The series is commissioned by Kate Teckman, commissioner and head of development for factual entertainment at ITV. Executive producers for Optomen are Tina Flintoff and Nick Hornby.
Meanwhile, “Tom Daley: Illegal To Be Me,” a 1×60’ film for BBC One and iPlayer, follows the Olympic gold medallist and double world champion diver on his journey to some of the Commonwealth’s most homophobic countries to ask what the sporting world can do to help. The film culminates with Daley taking a very public stand at opening ceremony of this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, in a powerful statement against homophobia.
Travelling from Pakistan, where homosexuality carries a maximum penalty of death by stoning, to Jamaica, where the punishment is 10 years’ imprisonment with hard labour, Daley talks to top male and female sportspeople facing persecution. With many speaking under the protection of total anonymity, they bravely reveal the extreme danger and vigilante violence that gay and lesbian athletes face if their sexuality is exposed, telling harrowing personal stories of their own. He also speaks to advocates fighting for change, including the only openly gay athlete on Jamaica’s national team, Michael Gunning, India’s first openly gay athlete, Dutee Chand, and swimmers Theresa Goh and Amini Fonua, both vocal supporters of LGBT+ rights in Singapore and Tonga.
In addition, he meets LGBT+ experts, Bisi Alimi from Nigeria and Carla Moore from Jamaica, who reveal the colonial legacy that first criminalized homosexuality and the toxic influence of slavery on attitudes towards LGBT+ people.
“Tom Daley: Illegal To Be Me” airs on Aug. 9. It is made by Brook Lapping and commissioned by Catherine Catton, head of commissioning, popular factual and factual entertainment for the BBC. The commissioning editor is Michael Jochnowitz. Executive producer for Brook Lapping is Emma Hindley. The producer-director is Luke Korzun Martin, the producer is Fozia Nasir, and the editor is Gwyn Jones. Global sales will be handled by BBC Studios Distribution.