Video on Demand service HOOQ will premiere five original selected screenplays as pilot episodes on the platform on March 29. This is part of the inaugural HOOQ Filmmakers Guild wherein the best of these five pilots will be commissioned into a full series on the platform.
The five pilots are: Bhak (India), Haunt Me (Singapore), How To Be A Good Girl (Singapore), Aliansi (Indonesia) and Heaven and Hell (Indonesia). The five were selected from over 500 submissions received by HOOQ, over a 2-month period, from all over South East Asia. They comprise a mix of genres, from sci-fi comedy to action-thriller and even supernatural-horror.
Peter Bithos, CEO of HOOQ, said, “We at HOOQ are so proud of the pilots, which the HOOQ Filmmakers Guild has produced. These pilots are proof of the quality of filmmakers and unique stories across Southeast Asia. It will be a very difficult decision to commission just one series. The success of the HOOQ Filmmakers Guild is just the beginning of many great things for the Guild’s filmmakers. HOOQ is committed to support the talented filmmakers across Asia in 2018 and beyond as we continue to push boundaries to develop unique stories from an Asian perspective to keep our subscribers HOOQ’d month after month.”
Launched in June 2017, the HOOQ Filmmakers Guild is an annual initiative designed to seek out film talents in Asia that have great ideas but lack the opportunity to bring them to life on screen. Each of the above five screenplays received USD 30,000 to produce the pilot episode.
The pilots will now undergo judging from five esteemed filmmakers from Asia, namely Indonesia’s Mouly Surya and Nicholas Saputra, Philippines’ Erik Matti, as well as Thailand’s Wasin Pokpong, and Puttipong Promasakha Na Sakolnakorn. In addition to professional judging, viewership numbers will also be taken into consideration and will also be factored in before the winner is selected.
Award-winning Indonesian director and competition judge, Mouly Surya, commented, “Right from the start, we were blown away by the creativity and individuality shown by these talented artists through their original screenplays. We are truly excited, now, to witness the culmination of all their hard work. But there can only be one winner, so our job is not going to be easy.”
HOOQ’s Chief Content Officer, Jennifer Batty, said, “This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for since we embarked on this journey in 2017. As a champion of Asian original content, we knew that there was a wealth of untapped potential in our Asian markets. We are incredibly proud of this talented batch of filmmakers who have worked tirelessly to bring their singular vision to life. May the best pilot win.”