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Netflix Bulks Up Southeast Asia Originals, Chinese Production Slate

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Global streaming giant Netflix has made a significant ongoing commitment to production of original content from Southeast Asia and in the Chinese language.

For 2024, Netflix has unveiled a slate of four Chinese-language series, all hailing from Taiwan. From Thailand, it detailed seven series and one film. From Indonesia, it has committed to five films and a series co-written and directed by the consistently successful Joko Anwar, marking his first partnership with the streamer.

Additionally, Netflix has confirmed the appointment of Maya Huang as its head of Chinese-language content.

The moves stand in sharp contrast to the mid-January happenings at rival global streamer Prime Video, which is cutting staff in the region and ending its brief experiment with Southeast Asian originals.

In Indonesia, Netflix says it is broadening its storytelling with a range of genres including comedy, action, fantasy, and sci-fi thrillers.

“Nightmares and Daydreams,” Anwar’s debut project for the company, is a supernatural science fiction series. It involves ordinary people encountering strange phenomena that could unlock answers about the origin of the world and the imminent threat it will soon face. “Characters and plots will intertwine like pieces of a puzzle and the big picture will be awe-inspiring,” the logline reads. A sparkling cast includes Ario Bayu, Lukman Sardi, Marissa Anita, Nirina Zubir, Sita Nursanti, Fachri Albar and Asmara Abigail.

The Indonesian film slate includes: “Monster,” a dialog-free thriller starring Marsha Timothy, Alex Abbad and Antalya Kirana; Borneo-set crime thriller “Borderless Fog,” with a female detective protagonist, from prize-winning director Edwin; and “The Shadow Strays,” an action film by Timo Tjahjanto (Netflix’s “The Big 4”) with rising young actors Aurora Ribero in her first action film outing, alongside Kristo Immanuel, and Ali Fikry.

The lineup also includes acquired crime thriller “24 Hours With Gaspar,” which played at multiple Asian festivals last year and will debut on the platform in March.

Details of the Thai and Chinese-language components of the slate will be revealed later on Friday.

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