Taiwanese distributor Applause Entertainment Taiwan is moving into sales and will make its market debut in Cannes, with Hou Hsiao-Hsien-produced Be With Me and Lee Sinje-produced award-winning Malaysian film Abang Adik on its inaugural slate.
Be With Me is directed by Hou’s long-time collaborator Hwarng Wern-Ying, who won the Golden Horse Awards for best art director and best makeup and costume design for Flowers Of Shanghai and The Assassin respectively. She also worked as a supervising art director on Martin Scorsese’s Silence, which shot in Taiwan.
Starring Ariel Lin, Vic Chou and Ethan Juan, Hwarng’s feature directorial debut is a Taiwanese family drama about the spiritual and emotional journey of a woman told over three time periods as she reminisces about her late grandfather, who was the first to show her the way of the world.
Yu Jing-Pin, who shot Oscar-nominated Better Days, serves as director of photography. Sinomovie.com, Be the Light and TCCD Angels Investment are the main backers with support from Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, Taipei Film Fund and Taichung Film Development Foundation.
Kevin Hsu, president of Applause Entertainment Taiwan, said: “Given the rise and increased popularity of Chinese content, with our expertise in distribution, Applause Taiwan is looking to bring quality Chinese movies and TV series to the global market.”
Applause Entertainment Taiwan is also launching sales on Abang Adik, the feature directorial debut of Malaysian producer Jin Ong. Executive produced by Malaysian star Lee Sinje, the Malaysia-set drama follows the struggles and relationship of two undocumented brothers who live on the fringes of society. The cast includes Taiwan’s Wu Kang-Ren and Malaysia’s Jack Tan from Shuttle Life, which was produced by Ong.
The film is backed by Cinema Inutile, Be Actor and XYmusic. It had its world premiere at Fribourg where it won the audience award and Ecumenical jury award and went on to win a hat-trick of awards at Udine’s Far East Film Festival in Italy, including the Golden Mulberry, Black Dragon and First Time Director Awards.