Korean Actress Lee Chae-Yeon, Japanese Actor Kazuki Kitamura, Thai Director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang and Korean Director Lee Sang-Woo, from HBO Asia’s very first horror anthology original series, FOLKLORE (#FolkloreHBO), were in Singapore today to promote the series. The International cast and crew present were part of the Japanese-based episode entitled FOLKLORE: TATAMI; the Thailand-based episode entitled FOLKLORE: POB; and the Korean-based episode entitled FOLKLORE: MONGDAL. HBO Asia has also recently announced that all six episodes from FOLKLORE will each be making their global debut at major International film festivals including Toronto International Film Festival (Toronto, Canada), SITGES International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia (Barcelona, Spain) and Fantastic Fest (Texas, USA).
FOLKLORE premieres exclusively on HBO and HBO GO on Sunday, October 7 at 10pm. New episodes will debut at the same time every Sunday. Non-subscribers can stream the first episode of the series, FOLKLORE: A MOTHER’S LOVE, that was shot and based in Indonesia, for free on HBO GO from 11pm on October 7. Further extending the eerie FOLKLORE experience to viewers, HBO Asia will also be launching a chilling and immersive 360 Virtual Reality (VR) trailer on their official Facebook and YouTube platforms from September 20 onwards.
FOLKLORE seeks to modernise or update Asian horror, showcasing the brand of horror that each country is characteristic of and exploring societal dysfunctions in a manner that is specific to the country but possessing themes that will resonate across the continent. FOLKLORE is an HBO Asia Original series produced with the support of Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and created by award-winning Singaporean film maker and series showrunner, Eric Khoo.
The six-episode hour-long horror series takes place across six Asian countries with each episode based on a modern adaptation of each country’s deeply-rooted myths and folklore, featuring supernatural beings and occult beliefs. Each episode is helmed by different directors from various countries in Asia and filmed in the local language of the country that the episode is based in. The six directors involved in FOLKLORE are Joko Anwar (HBO Asia’s “Halfworlds”, “Satan’s Slave”) from Indonesia, Takumi Saitoh (“Blank 13”, “Ramen Teh”) from Japan, Lee Sang-Woo (“Barbie”, “Fire In Hell”, “Dirty Romance”) from Korea, Ho Yuhang (“Rain Dogs”, “Mrs. K”) from Malaysia, Eric Khoo (“Ramen Teh”, “12 Storeys”) from Singapore and Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (“Samui Song”, “Last Life in the Universe”) from Thailand.
Korean Actress Lee Chae-Yeon (“Running Man”, “Please Find Her” “Blow Breeze”) stars as the lead role in the episode based in Korea and directed by Korean director, Lee Sang-Woo (“Barbie”, “Fire In Hell”, “Dirty Romance”), FOLKLORE: MONGDAL. FOLKLORE: MONGDAL tells the story of a mother, Ok-Bin (played by Lee Chae-Yeon), who tries to appease the moods and demands of her borderline psychopathic son, Dong-Joo. When a new girl comes to town, Dong-Joo falls quickly and deeply for the new girl and is determined to win her over possibly even against her will. When things take a tragic turn, Ok-Bin will stop at nothing to make her son happy even if it means finding a bride to join him in the afterlife. This episode has also been selected to debut at Fantastic Fest in Texas, USA.
Japanese Actor Kazuki Kitamura (“Kill Bill: Volumes 1”) stars as the lead role in the episode based in Japan and directed by Japanese director, Takumi Saitoh, FOLKLORE: TATAMI. FOLKLORE: TATAMI follows a murder scene writer, Makoto Kishi (played by Kazuki Kitamura), who returns home to attend his father’s funeral and begins to experience constant flashbacks of his childhood. He then discovers a secret door in the house that leads to a room that hides a horrifying secret from his family’s past. This episode has also been selected to debut at SITGES International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain.
The episode shot and based in Thailand, FOLKLORE: POB, was directed by Thai director, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang (“Samui Song”, “Last Life in the Universe”). Ratanaruang’s episode follows a journalist who meets with Pob, a Thai ghost, who confesses to a murder. Finally finding an outlet for complaint, Pob explains how the murder happened and requests for his story to be published. However, the journalist declines and the two make a deal of a lifetime. This episode has also been selected to debut at the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival® in Toronto, Canada.
FOLKLORE is produced as part of a two-and-a-half-year partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). Through a series of workshops and collaborations with local companies and talent on HBO Asia Original productions, the partnership aims to develop the content production capabilities of Singapore’s media industry.
HBO Asia started producing its Original productions in 2012 and has since expanded their range of Asian Original productions to include series, movies and documentaries. FOLKLORE marks the network’s twelfth Asian Original to date, with more slated to premiere in the coming years. Other upcoming Asian Original productions by HBO Asia include GRISSE – an eight-part hour-long period drama series set in the mid 1800’s within the colonial period of the Dutch East Indies and THE WORLD BEHIND THE TEENAGE PSYCHIC – an hour-long Mandarin documentary that seeks to explore the deeply-rooted temple culture and some of the unique religious practices during the Ghost Month in Taiwan.
FOLKLORE premieres exclusively on HBO and HBO GO on Sunday, October 7 at 10pm. New episodes will debut at the same time every Sunday. The first episode of the series, FOLKLORE: A MOTHER’S LOVE, shot and based in Indonesia, will stream for free on HBO GO to non-subscribers on October 7 from 11pm onwards.