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C21May iPad

Hooq sets originals target

Asian VoD service Hooq has increased its investment in new content as it aims to create 100 original projects this year.

Jennifer Batty

The content will be produced across territories where Hooq is available, including Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and India, in genres spanning horror, comedy, factual and lifestyle.

Hooq will also invest in creating more originals for its redeveloped ‘freemium’ tier, which was recently rolled out across South-East Asia to offer consumers access to content via free channels on the platform.

Hooq was launched as a joint venture by telecoms giant SingTel and US-based duo Warner Bros and Sony Pictures Television in 2015. Its first original was the Indonesian project Critical Eleven, which arrived in September 2017. The company said its users have shown “incredible support” to its original local content “by embracing diverse storylines.”

Jennifer Batty, chief content officer at Hooq, said: “There is an increasing demand for high-quality entertainment in developing and emerging markets to tell the stories that resonate with those in the region.

“Whether it’s the latest local and regional stories, or Hollywood and international, we’re investing more to bring Hooq users the most engaging storylines, immersive narratives and exemplary productions that will not only challenge conventions, but also captivate their attention and imagination.”

Hooq has also revealed the winner of its filmmaking competition, which is presided over by a panel of film and entertainment judges from across South-East Asia. The winner of the second Hooq Filmmakers Guild programme was Singapore’s entry She’s a Terrorist & I Love Her, which went up against pilots from Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. It will now become an eight-episode series, due in early 2020.

Created by Terence Chea and Haresh Tilani of comedy brand Ministry of Funny, She’s a Terrorist & I Love Her stars Singaporean actors including Haresh Tilani, Alexis Sueann, Noah Yap, Farah Lola, Tiffany Gnanaraj and Jacky Ng.

Described as a dark comedy, the series follows a down-on-his-luck man going through a number of personal and financial woes. Chased by a gang of millennial loan sharks, he enters a sham marriage to make a quick buck, only to find out that his new wife is an extremist hell-bent on wreaking havoc in Singapore.

Earlier this year, Hooq hired the head of Turner in Hong Kong and South-East Asia as its chief commercial officer as part of a company rejig.

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