Press release from HBO, Oct. 16, 2017:
During his keynote conversation in Cannes at Mipcom today, HBO Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler announced that the HBO U.S. service will be making available to its customers some of the most acclaimed international, original series from HBO Europe, HBO Latin America and HBO Asia. Beginning in December, two series from each of the regions will arrive on the U.S. streaming services HBO GO and HBO NOW as well as HBO On Demand.
“Working with talented local writers, directors and producers, our international networks are creating programming that live up to the high quality storytelling that is expected of the HBO brand. This programming regularly outperforms even Game of Thrones’ record audience numbers in their respective markets. I am tremendously proud to bring such a selection of programs to our U.S. audience,” stated Plepler.
The selected content is produced and aired by HBO international networks in Latin America, Europe and Asia in local languages. The programming has been featured at major international film festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival and the Karlovy Vary Film Festival among others.
Plepler is in Cannes to receive the Variety Vanguard Award and spoke on stage about the power of brands in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.
The series to be made available are:
HBO Europe – Czech Republic mini-series WASTELAND, seasons 1 and 2 of Poland series PAKT
HBO Asia – Taiwan series THE TEENAGE PSYCHIC, seasons 1 and 2 of Indonesia/Thailand series HALFWORLDS
HBO Latin America – seasons 1 and 2 of EL HIPNOTIZADOR, and the new Brazilian drama LA VIDA SECRETA DE LAS PAREJAS. (HBO Latin America’s content is also available to U.S. subscribers on the HBO Latino multiplex channel).
Wasteland (Pustina, Czech Republic)
Set in the scarred landscape of northern Bohemia in the Czech Republic, Pustina blends social realism, intense psychological drama and a gripping mystery when the members of a close-knit, multi-generational village community are impacted by a life-changing event. Just as Hana Sikorova, mayor of the village of Pustina, reaches the peak of her struggle against a foreign mining company that wants to access the huge coal reserves that lie beneath the village, her 14-year-old daughter Misa goes missing. As long-standing family relationships begin to disintegrate Hana starts to doubt the integrity of every member of her community. Initially helpful in the desperate search for the missing Misa, the citizens of Pustina soon begin to reveal their true colors. Winner of the Czech Lion for Best Drama Series 2016, it also had special screenings at Karlovy Vary and Toronto International Film Festivals.
8 x 1 hour. Directed by Ivan Zacharias and Alice Nellis and starring Zuzana Stivinova.
A conspiracy thriller set in contemporary Warsaw over two seasons, Pakt looks in to the life of investigative journalist Piotr Grodecki. In season 1 he uncovers major corporate fraud and in season 2 further layers of government secrets. The action takes place in a world where politics, media and business overlap, blurring the lines between what’s true and false. Piotr painfully discovers that he will need to make a choice – seek the truth, or sacrifice the ones he loves.
Season 1 (6 x 1 hour) directed by Marek Lechki and season 2 (6 x 1 hour) directed by Leszek Dawid, stars Marcin Dorocinski.
The Teenage Psychic (Taiwan)
HBO Asia’s six-part series explores the life of a girl who just wants to lead a typical teenage life. However, born with the ability to see beyond the surface and in to the spiritual sphere, she must learn to juggle the pressures of teenage life – her first love, academic success as well as peer pressure with the additional demands of the spiritual world. The Teenage Psychic is HBO Asia’s first production in Taiwan, set and filmed fully on-location. The series, which debuted in early-2017, was also jointly developed with Taiwanese broadcaster, Public Television Service (PTS), and award-winning Singaporean production company, InFocus Asia (IFA). Winner of Best Miniseries and Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film at the 52nd Golden Bell Awards in September 2017.
6 x 1 hour. Directed by Chen Ho-Yu and stars Kuo Shu-Yao, Kent Tsai and Akio Chen.
Halfworlds (Indonesia and Thailand)
Halfworlds delves into the underworld of mythological demons that inhabit the back alleys of Jakarta (season 1) and the neon lights of Bangkok (season 2). Season 2 follows a tenacious researcher named Juliet who is trying to uncover the secret world of demons that live in Bangkok, while looking for an ancient artefact of great power. An ensemble cast of actors from Thailand, Indonesia, The Philippines and Taiwan star. Season 1 was awarded the Best Editing award at the Asian Television Awards in 2016.
Season 1 (8 x 30 minutes) directed by Joko Anwar and starring Arifin Putra and Reza Rahadian. Season 2 (8 x 1 hour) directed by Ekachai Uekrongtham and stars Arifin Putra and Peem Jaiyan.
HBO LATIN AMERICA
La Vida Secreta de las Parejas (A Vida Secreta Dos Casais, Brazil)
A Vida Secreta dos Casais explores the life of sexologist and therapist Sofia Prado, who runs an alternative therapies center where she helps couples work through their difficulties while dealing with her own hidden emotional turmoil. As she helps her patients discover their intimate truths, Sofia’s secrets also begin to come to light when she finds herself caught up in the investigation of a complex web of corruption operated by Edgar Eleno Andreazza, a powerful banker and businessman with a great deal of influence on government officials.
12 x 1 hour. Directed by Carlos Alberto Riccelli and Kim Riccelli and stars Bruna Lombardi.
El Hipnotizador (O Hipnotizador, Brazil)
Based on an Argentinian graphic novel, O Hipnotizador follows the life of Natalio Arenas, a hypnotist who uses his gift to reveal people’s lost memories. Arenas finds it easier to solve his client’s problems than his own. He lives in a hotel, immersed in painful memories and is then subjected to an eternal insomnia in which he hides a deep secret. In order to be cured from this disorder, he and his accomplices will have to face Darek, the hypnotist who cursed him.
Season 1 (8 x 1 hour) directed by Alex Gabassi and José Eduardo Belmonte, Season 2 (8 x 1 hour) directed by Marco Dutra, Aly Muritiba and Pablo Machline, stars Leonardo Sbaraglia.