From a submission of 500 original film entries across Asia, leading video on demand service HOOQ has announced six titles for pilot development from the maiden edition of the HOOQ Filmmakers Guild 2017.
The confirmed 2017 selections are Bhak (India), Suay (Thailand), Haunt Me (Singapore), How To Be A Good Girl (Singapore), Aliansi (Indonesia) and Heaven and Hell (Indonesia). The based on the relevance and potential appeal to Asian audiences, demonstrable creativity in storytelling and most of all, a well told Asian story with an original point of view.
India’s winning entry, Bhak, is a colourful dramedy that follows the adventures of two ambitious young filmmakers in the Bollywood film industry. Written by Arjun Chatterjee and Shreyom Ghosh from Big3 Media, it explores themes of passion, betrayal and love.
Suay, a Thai crime thriller by Marcelo von Schwartz, follows the story of ladyboy go-go dancer Lola, who receives a cut-off ear belonging to her best friend and mentor, Carly. She is then forced to draw upon her past identity as a tough male private detective and descend into the underbelly of Bangkok.
Supernatural drama Haunt Me, by Oman Dhas and Goh Ming Siu from Third Floor Pictures, follows the story of Kwong, a widower, who after his father’s death, moves into his family ancestral home and discovers his family’s secret sacred destiny; guiding lost souls to the other side.
The other Singaporean entry, How To Be A Good Girl, comes from Abundant Productions and follows former socialite turned ex-convict, Frances Lee, who is looking to reclaim her life after time behind bars.
The Indonesian winning entries reflect two ends of the genre sprectrum. Aliansi is an offbeat comedy by Muttaqiena Imaamaa. It follows the story of a down-and-out Jakarta-based creative executive, who gets a chance to start over when a mysterious millionaire approaches him to create advertising campaigns – to convince the public that aliens are real.
By contrast, Bobby Prabowo & Eric Tiwa’s Heaven and Hell, takes us into the world of the Eastern Indonesia mafia. When a gang war about to break out in Darmaga Batu, his adoptive hometown, Chris contemplates leaving the violent world of crime, until he realizes, the only way he can protect his jailed father, is by becoming the head of the crime world.
HOOQ has also selected five more submissions for script development. The selections are Crazy in Love (Indonesia), Golden Star (Philippines), Merit Score (Thailand), ReLie (Thailand) and Trips(Singapore).
“I was deeply amazed by the quality of the submissions, so much so that it made judging really difficult!” said judge Mouly Surya, director of ‘Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts’. “It was affirmation to me that Asia truly has immense talent when it comes to filmmaking.”
This sentiment was echoed by her fellow Indonesian judge, actor Nicholas Saputra, “Not only were their submissions for the HOOQ Filmmakers Guild fantastic,” he said, “they are so energetic, creative and bursting with ideas and serves as a reminder to all seasoned filmmakers to never lose that spark inside of us.”