SINGAPORE — Film distributor Clover Films announced on Monday (15 March) a collaboration with Chinese streaming platform iQiyi to co-produce four movies helmed by Singapore directors.
The four films by Kelvin Tong, Melvin Mak, Ong Kuo Sin and Tay Ping Hui will eventually be distributed internationally by Clover, and in China by iQiyi, the country's largest TV streaming platform.
In case you didn't know, the super popular period drama The Story Of Yanxi Palace was made by iQiyi, which has been called the Netflix of China.
"This collaboration between Clover Films and iQiyi seeks to merge talents between the two countries and create stories told by Singaporean filmmakers that cater to the wider Chinese language audience across Asia," said Clover Films in its statement.
The four movies, comprising a comedy, drama, romance and horror thriller, will be shot over a span of two years.
The first film to go into production is comedy Reunion Dinner (working title), written and directed by Ong Kuo Sin, whose most recent work Number 1 was nominated for a Golden Horse Award. More details will be announced later, including the regional cast lined up for the movie.
The other three films are as yet untitled. Kelvin Tong, whose past works include The Maid and The Faith Of Anna Waters, will be directing a horror-thriller.
Melvin Mak, who co-directed with Peter Chan on the latter’s upcoming feature film about China's top female tennis player Li Na, will helm a romance-drama.
Actor-director Tay Ping Hui, who recently starred in various TV dramas in China such as The Condor Heroes and Handsome Siblings, will be directing a drama. The veteran actor made his directorial debut in 2014's Meeting The Giant.
"Having worked in both Singapore and China, it is my pleasure to be able to contribute to the growing relationship between our two countries. I am a believer in the universal language of film, with a power to unite despite differences. So I hope that this collaboration will allow China audiences to have a glimpse of Singapore through the lens of our directors," said Tay.
Lim Teck, Clover Films' managing director, said, “We are excited to be partnering with iQiyi on this excellent slate of movies by four sterling Singapore filmmakers. We have always believed in our local talent pool and are glad that our partners at iQiyi are as invested as we are in promoting Singaporean talent. We aim to produce movies that would connect to audiences in the China and South-east Asian markets and this requires great support from iQiyi and our four directors. We are grateful for their trust in Clover Films.”
Song Jia, iQiyi vice-president, said, "We're honoured to work with these four distinguished Singaporean directors whom past works have gained great recognition in China, and we look forward to showcasing their upcoming works to the audiences in China, and to strengthen China and Singapore's partnership in the filmmaking industry."
Speaking of iQiyi shows, here's our interview with The Story Of Yanxi Palace star, Lawrence Wong aka Hai Lan Cha: