Netflix to make its first Chinese language original series with Sam Quah's 'Bardo'

Netflix will collaborate with Singaporean production company IFA Media for the production of 'Bardo.'

'Bardo' will be Netflix's first Chinese Original Series.

Arguably the World's most widespread and leading streaming service and internet television network, Netflix, had not been able to enter the Chinese entertainment market till recently. That is all set to change as the streaming company will be making their first Chinese original series.

As per a media release from Netflix on August 4, the company announced that they will help make the first Chine language Netflix Original series from Taiwan, called 'Bardo.' They are collaborating with award-winning Singaporean production company IFA Media, who recently produced the well-received Taiwanese television miniseries.

'Bardo' will be helmed by writer-director Sam Quah, who, as noted by the media release, is "is a rising Taiwan based writer-director whose short film The Free Man was short-listed for an Oscar in 2015." 'The Free Man' won awards at the Eugene International Film festival, Golden Bell Awards, Taiwan and at the The IndieFest Film Awards.

As per the media release, Sam Quah said, "After a year of preparation, I am delighted the show is coming to fruition. It's been a pleasure working with IFA Media and global streaming platform Netflix, with all parties having shared the same visions for the concept throughout the process. The trust and respect given have allowed for me and the writers a great freedom to work and, in the process, also allowed for the vision of the show to expand and grow."

"This series which is being developed with Taiwanese lead writer, Lily Chen, originates from current issues in modern society regarding real-life prisoners on death row, and the series addresses the beliefs these prisoners have regarding their own freedom. Currently the series is preparing for shoot, and I look forward to working with the production crew to create an extraordinary series," Quah concluded.

Erik Barmack, vice president of international Original series at Netflix, described the project, saying, "A supernatural premise, a production team that's created regional hits, and an up and coming director who's received international acclaim -- all of this has Netflix excited about Bardo."

The media release also has Frank Smith, the Executive Producer of 'Bardo,' saying, "Taiwan's film and TV industry is full of amazing creativity and Sam's a new Asian talent who is open to pushing the boundaries and trying new things but with a strong insight into local and regional themes. The combination of this range of skills from across the region and the chance to work with a global platform like Netflix that is producing amazing content we'd all love to create made this a great partnership for IFA. The story itself is steeped in local realities and dilemmas but the approach, the script and the dramatic feel is something completely new."

The story of 'Bardo' is about "the journey of Ah Quan, a good man who has descended into crime and now waits in prison for execution. An encounter with a mysterious inmate causes him to experience events from alternative timelines. Learning that his son is in danger, Ah Quan escapes to protect his family only to discover he is a pawn in a much larger game. Blending Taiwanese aboriginal mysticism and karmic destiny, Bardo (擺渡身) - which describes state of existence between life and death - is Ah Quan's search for redemption."

This article was first published on August 4, 2017
Related topics : Netflix