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Source: Netflix

On set of ‘Abadi Nan Jaya’ with Kimo Stamboel and actor Donny Damara

Two new zombie films – Kimo Stamboel’s Abadi Nan Jaya from Indonesia and Carlo Ledesma’s Outside from the Philippines – were among the new titles spotlighted at Netflix’s first showcase dedicated to Southeast Asia.

Abadi Nan Jaya is Netflix’s first Indonesian zombie title and the latest film directed by Indonesia’s horror master Kimo (Dancing Village: The Curse Begins) and produced by Edwin Nazir, marking their first collaboration with the streamer. It is currently in production near Yogyakarta in Central Java, with a global premiere due in 2025.

Abadi Nan Jaya is a working title that can be translated as “Forever Glorious”. Blending horror with local folklore, it centres on a dysfunctional family who find themselves at the epicentre of a zombie outbreak when the creation of a new potion for their traditional herbal medicine business goes awry. The cast features Eva Celia, Mikha Tambayong, Donny Damara, Marthino Lio and Dimas Anggara.

Outside is a psychological thriller set in a remote Philippine farm and follows a family of four taking refuge in their ancestral home during a zombie outbreak. It is scheduled to premiere on October 11 and marks a significant step as the Philippines continues to go beyond local licensed titles and expand its original content slate.

The Southeast Asia showcase was held on June 13 in Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta. “We want to make sure that we bring locally authentic stories to our members in each of these countries. That’s why we have our teams on the ground, communicating with local creators on a day-to-day basis,” said Minyoung Kim, VP of content (APAC ex-India).

She was joined by Netflix executives from the region - Rusli Eddy, manager of Netflix local originals in Indonesia, Yongyoot “Sin” Thongkongtoon, director of Netflix Thailand originals and Vitto Lazatin, manager of content acquisition in the Philippines – who introduced their respective upcoming local titles.

Netflix entered Indonesia in 2016 and started making original content in 2021. The country has since become one of Netflix’s biggest production base in Southeast Asia.

Further Indonesian titles highlighted were Netflix’s first supernatural sci-fi series Nightmares And Daydreamsby Joko Anwar, which premiered globally on June 14, and Borderless Fog, an upcoming crime thriller feature about serial murder cases along the Indonesia-Malaysia border on Borneo Island and directed by Edwin, who won Locarno Golden Leopard award for Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash.

Also from Indonesia scheduled for this year is The Shadow Strays, an action film about a 17-year-old trained assassin who defies her mentor and her organisation when she is hell-bent on rescuing a 11-year-old boy. It is directed by Timo Tjahjanto who along with Kimo were known as The Mo Brothers in his early career. His 2022 action comedy The Big 4 charted on Netflix’s global top 10 non-English films list in the first week on release.

Thailand has ramped up its original titles to 10 this year (up from last year’s six), including two upcoming series Terror Tuesday: Extreme, a collection of horror stories, and Tomorrow & I, a sci-fi anthology series exploring the conflict between futuristic technologies and Thai culture, as well as Kongdej Jaturanrasmee’s Doctor Climax, a 1970s sex comedy series about a skin doctor-turned-sex columnist.

Both Doctor Climax, which premiered on June 13, and Joko’s Nightmares And Daydreams, which premiered on the following day, are currently ranked number one in their home countries.