Netflix Reveals 2024 South East Asian Slate of Original Films, Series

By Chanak Maduranga

Published on:

Netflix Reveals 2024 South East Asian Slate of Original Films, Series
Spread the love

In less than a decade, Netflix has become a production powerhouse in South East Asia, and that fact was reinforced at a showcase the streamer held in the Indonesian capital Jakarta last week, where it showed off its latest batch of original local films and series.

Through aggressive and consistent investment in producing originals, Netflix has gained a market leading position in Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, and these three countries were the focus of the showcase on June 13. Among the slew of announcements, trailers, first-look stills and clips, Netflix unfurled news on not one, but two zombie projects, a period sex comedy, Thai sci-fi, more horror and action from Indonesia, and a serial killer thriller that could find a global audience.

Read on for details on the biggest SEA titles that Netflix showcased.

Kimo Stamboel on the set of ‘Abadi Nan Jaya’

Netflix

Abadi Nan Jaya (working title) (Indonesia)

Perhaps the biggest announcement at the Netflix SEA showcase was the reveal of star filmmaker Kimo Stamboel’s latest project, his first collaboration with the streaming giant, and Indonesia’s first ever zombie feature. The original film, that currently has the working title of Abadi Nan Jaya, looks to be one of the priciest and largest film production projects the country has ever seen, although Netflix was loath to talk specific figures.

Abadi Nan Jaya (WT) is certainly a big undertaking, with the majority of the film shot on location in a remote part of Java. Another rarity for Indonesian film, the project will feature extensive practical special effects and VFX, and the filmmakers have had access to the wealth of zombie knowledge Netflix’s Asia teams have built up over the years through hit shows such as Kingdom and All of Us Are Dead.

As for the story, Netflix’s description reads: “Set in a remote village near Yogyakarta, Abadi Nan Jaya tells the story of a dysfunctional family running a renowned herbal medicine business. The owner of the company attempts to innovate by creating a new potion, which ends up triggering a zombie outbreak.”

Stamboel is among Indonesian cinema’s most bankable names, and he’s found massive success in the horror genre with the hits The Queen of Black Magic, Dancing Village: The Curse Begins and Sewu Dino. Abadi Nan Jaya (WT) is written by Stamboel and his longtime collaborators Agasyah Karim and Khalid Kashogi. The cast features some of Indonesia’s biggest stars, including Eva Celia, Mikha Tambayong, Donny Damara, Dimas Anggara, Marthino Lio, Kiki Narendra and Varen Arianda Calief.

Release date: Slated for 2025

‘Borderless Fog‘

Netflix

Borderless Fog (Indonesia)

The most intriguing title to emerge from Netflix’s SEA showcase was the slick crime drama Borderless Fog from Indonesian filmmaker Edwin. By virtue of the genre, Borderless Fog will break new ground for Indonesian cinema, a country where crime thrillers are a rarity, even more so with a woman as the protagonist. The movie is also new territory for Edwin, a filmmaker who made his name with the dramas Posesif (2017) and Aruna & Her Palate (2018) and the black comedy Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash (2021), the latter of which won the top prize at the Locarno Film Festival.

Set along the Indonesia-Malaysia border, Borderless Fog tells the story of a female detective from the big city sent to investigate gruesome serial murders in a remote province in Borneo that is riven with suspicion, superstition and shadowy forces. Shot on location in Kalimantan, from the first-look trailer screened for press, the film has echoes of Memories of a Murder and Silence of the Lambs and the border setting may evoke some comparisons to the ever-expanding The Bridge series, but Borderless Fog roots its action firmly in Indonesia and contains elements unique to the storytelling tradition of the country.

Borderless Fog stars Putri Marino, Yoga Pratama and Lukman Sardi and is written by Edwin and Ifan Ismail.

Release date: Sometime in 2024

Episode 2 of ‘Joko Anwar‘s Nightmares and Daydreams’

Netflix

Joko Anwar’s Nightmares and Daydreams (Indonesia)

Netflix’s SEA showcase was timed to coincide with the release of Joko Anwar’s Nightmares and Daydreams, a new horror anthology series from arguably the biggest, and certainly the most prolific, name in Indonesian entertainment. Through films such as Satan’s Slaves, Gundala and Impetigore, Joko Anwar has cemented his reputation as a horror master, and he returns to the small screen with a seven-episode anthology series that is more a showcase for his collaborators, a group of young and up-and-coming Indonesian writers and filmmakers.

Each episode of Nightmares and Daydreams spotlights a character dealing with supernatural events that occur over the period 1985 to 2022. Although each story seems random, there is an interconnectivity and through-line that becomes apparent at the end. In a country that loves horror, and where Anwar is the biggest entertainment brand, unsurprisingly, Nightmares and Daydreams is already the No.1 title on Netflix in Indonesia.

Release date: June 14

‘Outside’

Netflix

Outside (Philippines)

Everybody loves zombies, right? Netflix certainly does, as another zombie feature was showcased in Jakarta last week. Outside hails from the Philippines and is much closer to hitting the streamer than Abadi Nan Jaya, with Netflix playing a full clip from the film for press.

Outside is set in a remote province of the Philippines, an area of small villages, rice paddies and sugar cane fields, and tells the story of a family trying to outrun the zombie outbreak by returning to the father’s childhood farmhouse, fortifying it to keep out “The Dead Ones.” Alas, there is just as much horror and trauma at the ancestral home as there is outside the gates.

Directed by Carlo Ledesma, the filmmaker behind the cult Aussie found-footage horror movie The Tunnel (2011), Outside stars Sid Lucero, Beauty Gonzalez and Joel Torre.

Release date: Sometime in 2024

‘The Shadow Strays’

Netflix

The Shadow Strays (Indonesia)

Another intriguing title that has the potential to find a global audience is the action film The Shadow Strays. Netflix’s description of the story reads: “Codenamed 13, a 17-year-old trained assassin, is currently suspended due to a sloppy mission in Japan. Meeting Monji, an 11-year-old boy who lost his mother to a crime syndicate, awakened her conscience. When Monji is captured, 13 is hell-bent on rescuing him, setting off a path of destruction and defying her mentor and the organization that hires her, known as the Shadow.”

From the clip that was screened, the film seems to be a blizzard of action and should please genre fans. The Shadow Strays stars Aurora Ribero, Hanna Malasan, Kristo Immanuel and Adipati Dolken.

The Shadow Strays is directed by Timo Tjahjanto, the other half of The Mo Brothers, a filmmaking collective consisting of Tjahjanto and Kimo Stamboel. Tjahjanto has made an international name for himself in the action and horror genres, and his films include Netflix’s The Night Comes for Us (starring Iko Uwais and Joe Taslim) and the 2022 action comedy The Big 4, which became a breakout hit for the streamer and made the top 10 film list on Netflix in 53 countries.

Release date: Sometime in 2024

‘Doctor Climax’

Netflix

Doctor Climax (Thailand)

Netflix announced the Thai period sex comedy Doctor Climax as part of its SEA slate announcement earlier this year. Set during the 1970s, the series stars Chantavit Dhanasevi as a nerdy skin doctor whose life is turned upside down when he moonlights as an anonymous sex columnist for a national newspaper. Trouble ensues as conservative forces in Thailand attempt to track down Doctor Climax and stop him corrupting the people.

Doctor Climax is notable for its frank discussion of sex and raunchy action, and looks to have the potential to be another breakout hit and follow restaurant drama Hunger in finding an audience outside Thailand.

Created by Ekachai Uekrongtham, the show is written and directed by Kongdej Jaturanrasmee and Pairach Khumwan. The eight-episode series debuted last week, and Doctor Climax is already off to a strong start, hitting No. 1 on Netflix in Thailand.

Release date: June 13

‘Tomorrow and I’

Netflix

Tomorrow and I (Thailand)

Also during the Thailand portion of the SEA showcase, Netflix gave a first glimpse of the ambitious Tomorrow and I, a four-episode anthology series. Created by Paween Purijitpanya (Ghost Lab, Body), Tomorrow and I, according to the Netflix blurb,”explores the intersection of futuristic technologies and Thai culture, and the unimaginable tensions and moral dilemmas that arise out of their inevitable conflict.” The brief look certainly suggested something expansive and markedly different to what Netflix has offered before in terms of its Thai originals.

Release date: Sometime in 2024

Chanak Maduranga

passionate journalist behind 'USA News Now 24', dedicated to delivering timely and accurate updates on US affairs. Committed to journalistic integrity and informing audiences with credible news coverage.

Leave a Comment