Netflix orders first Chinese-language series Bardo

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Netflix has ordered its first Chinese-languages original series, Bardo, to be produced by Singapore-based IFA Media and directed by Taipei-based filmmaker Sam Quah.

The eight-episode series is a jailbreak thriller with a karmic dimension, which will be available to all Netflix members around the world at the same time.

IFA Media recently produced HBO Asia’s top-rating Taiwanese series The Teenage Psychic. Headquartered in Singapore, the company also has offices in Bangkok, Beijing and Taipei.

Quah is a rising Taiwan based writer-director whose short film The Free Man (pictured) was short-listed for an Oscar in 2015.

The series, which is being developed with Taiwanese writer Lily Chen, follows a man on death row whose encounter with a mysterious inmate causes him to experience events from alternative timelines. Learning his son is in danger, he escapes to protect his family only to discover he is a pawn in a much larger game.

“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,” said Netflix vice president of international original series, Erik Barmack.

Bardo executive producer Frank Smith said: “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.”