FilMart: Taiwan’s ‘Urban Horror’ Taps Into Ultra-Short Series Trend

Taipei-based Screenworks Asia has picked up innovative anthology series “Urban Horror” for international sales ahead of this week’s FilMart in Hong Kong.

Directed by Lee Chun-Hong (“Mom, Don’t Do That!”), Chen Bao-Zhong and Huang Dan-Chi, a group of young and upcoming filmmakers, “Urban Horror” comprises 34 short episodes revolving around the mysterious, the unexplained and the disturbed.

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They make use of six modern city settings, such as night clubs, office buildings, youth hostels and other places where ghosts and monsters are not normally found. The deliberately limited number of locations also enables the 34 short films to be re-packaged as six longer episodes.

In each episode, the audience will see a familiar face that could be an award-winning actor, a pop star, or an internet celebrity. These include Austin Lin (Taiwan’ Oscar selection “Marry My Dead Body”), Ann Hsu (“The Victims’ Game”) Fu Meng-Po (“Taiwan Crime Stories”) and Esther Liu (“Light the Night”).

The show, part of which premiered at the Kaohsiung Film Festival last October, is presented by KOKO Entertainment, HIM Inc., My Story Entertainment, and produced by COSPM Films. Completion is set for the summer. “Urban Horror” is distributed by distributor and streamer Catchplay in Taiwan and by Screenworks Asia overseas.

“With the current boom of short-form videos, ‘Urban Horror attempts to adapt to the trend while maintaining high quality,” said a Screenworks spokesman. The company is also selling remake or format rights.

Screenworks Asia was launched in 2020 as a joint venture between the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) and Catchplay, whose Catchplay Plus streaming service claims ten million subscribers in Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia. Backed with funding from the National Development Fund, Screenworks Asia has a mission to produce original content ranging from mini-series and movies to factual entertainment, particularly of the kinds that can also appeal to international audiences.

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