SINGAPORE, Dec 7 -- Singapore-based global IP development, producing and licensing studio,108 Media, has signed an option to produce director-writer Aaron Cowan’s feature screenplay BEST SERVED COLD – based on the short story, DON’T EAT THE RICE by Sabah-based author Jill Girardi and characters in her novel, HANTU MACABRE.
It is as part of a wider slate of Southeast Asian feature films being wholly commissioned and packaged through 2020 from Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia.
The agreement was signed Friday on the sidelines of the Asia TV Forum & Market and ScreenSingapore 2019 with Hans Isaac, chairman of the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) in attendance together with 108 Media's Abhi Rastogi and Justin Deimen, as well as the creative team, Siung Films' directors Cowan and Jo Luping.
"We would like to congratulate Malaysia's Siung Films and Singapore's 108 Media. Both Malaysia and Singapore are excited about this effort as we are planning for Malaysia-Singapore Treaty discussion starting in January 2020," said Isaac in a statement issued here today.
"FINAS encourages and welcomes co-production treaties with not just Singapore but other countries to establish closer relationship that eases buying, distribution, content creating and collaboration between countries thus opening opportunities for the industry to further grow prosperously," he said.
A muscular, action-packed affair with incredible visual and kinetic sense, the project has attached Ann Osman (Athena), the top female MMA fighter in Malaysia.
Set in picturesque Kota Kinabalu, BEST SERVED COLD is a unique mix of supernatural action-noir with texture and character spilling off the page.
It revolves around Suzanna Sim, an ex-MMA fighter turned gumshoe who uses her fists and her knowledge of Southeast Asian black magic while working with a toyol, a Malaysian mythical creature, to find a rich new client’s missing husband.
Cowan meanwhile has been a senior member of creative teams that have won four Oscars, including Avatar and the Lord of the Rings trilogy and has worked with such visionaries in technical achievements such as Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron.
Also attached to the production is Base FX in Kuala Lumpur, Asia’s leading VFX facility, having worked on more than 50 of the world’s biggest feature films, including The Mandalorian, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Six Underground, Aquaman, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Pacific Rim, Star Trek into Darkness, Looper, Identity Thief, Mission Impossible 4 and Super 8.
BEST SERVED COLD will headline 108 Media’s slate of Southeast Asian features that are being developed and overseen by Deimen, (President - Production/Development in Singapore), Jordan Nutson (Senior Acquisition Exec. in Toronto), Jeremy Chua (Creative Producer-at-Large in Singapore), and Matt Wilson (Creative Exec. in Los Angeles).
The slate includes TEN, written by Bernice Low, based on the book “Ten” by Shamini Flint (Malaysia, Family-Sports); and CHANDRA, written by Shern Chong and Justin Wong (Malaysia, Crime-Action).
“I’m excited about the whole feel and tone of this particular slate. It’s exciting, unique, and cool and marks a new direction for the company in how we work with talented indie creators across the region by giving them a platform to find their commercial voice.
"We’re looking to hold firm to 108’s value of a working within a studio system with the development, financing, production and distribution infrastructure to provide a constant flow of efficiently produced content to partners and audiences across the globe,” said Deimen.
108 Media has a global content development, producing and licensing mandate with offices in Singapore with production and sales offices in Toronto, Tokyo, London, Los Angeles, Ho Chi Minh City, and Kuala Lumpur.