Lim Teck, Jack Neo

Source: HiJack Pictures

(L-R) Lim Teck and Jack Neo

Leading Singapore firms Clover Films and J Team Productions have joined forces to set up new venture HiJack Pictures and produce Chinese-language projects in Singapore and the region.

Lim Teck of distributor Clover Films and director-producer Jack Neo of J Team Productions will serve as co-CEOs of the new 50:50 Singapore-based joint venture, which will produce three to five films a year.

“In combining our expertise in production, marketing and distribution, we are confident that this synergy will create something much greater than the sum of its parts,” said Lim. He added that the name HiJack Pictures is “a little tribute to Singapore’s most successful filmmaker at the box office”.

Neo was a popular TV comedian and host before turning to filmmaking. He is Singapore’s most commercially successful director, having generated more than $58m (S$80m) at the Singapore box office from around 30 films that he has directed since 1999, including ($18m) S$25m from the Ah Boys To Men franchise.

HiJack Pictures is set to collaborate with regional partners in producing a slate of feature films that Neo will direct or produce for emerging filmmakers from Singapore and the region. Neo said: “We aim to nurture a new generation of Singaporean filmmakers and to produce commercially viable content which connects with the audience.”

Neo most recently produced Boi Kwong’s Geylang, a crime thriller set in Singapore’s red-light district which received a best action choreography nomination at this year’s Golden Horse Awards. It will be screened at the upcoming Singapore International Film Festival and its local theatrical release is scheduled for April 2023.

Clover Films is a leading distributor in Singapore and Southeast Asia, having distributed and marketed many acclaimed films and box office hits such as Train To Busan, Parasite, Shoplifters, Shockwave 1 and 2 and Better Days. It also co-produced the first two instalments of Neo’s Ah Boys To Men, Eric Khoo’s Ramen Teh and Ong Kuo Sin’s Reunion Dinner, which was released on the iQiyi streaming platform in China.

Among the board of directors of HiJack Pictures are Paulyn Chua and Irene Kng, co-founders of Clover Films and J Team Productions respectively.