Locally produced TV series premieres on HBO Asia

Locally made TV drama series The Teenage Psychic, HBO Asia's first original Mandarin-language co-production, premiered April 2 in Taiwan and across the region, with President Tsai Ing-wen praising the cultural creativity of the work via her personal Facebook page.

Spanning six one-hour episodes, the show by Taiwan writer-director Chen Ho-yu tells the story of a senior high school student endowed with supernatural powers. It is a joint production of government-supported channel Public Television Service, Singapore-headquartered Infocus Asia and HBO Asia. PTS is showing the program in the domestic market, while HBO Asia is screening it in a further 23 countries and territories.

Tsai wrote on her Facebook page April 1 that The Teenage Psychic marks a significant step in the country's efforts to promote its film and TV production industry. The work will also help present Taiwan's cultural vitality to the world, the president added.

Shot entirely in Taiwan using a local cast and crew, the series is based on The Busy Young Psychic, a critically acclaimed 30-minute production written and directed by Chen in 2013. After premiering on PTS in March of that year, the short movie was selected to compete in a number of local and foreign film festivals, including the Taipei Film Festival, Singapore International Children's Film Festival and the One Country, One Film, Apchat International Film Festival in France.

In line with current trends in the nation's entertainment sector concerning the use of local traditions and dialects, the series also features Holo, the language of Taiwan's largest ethnic group. Chen said in a recent interview with an online media outlet that he believes the language is vital to the series' authenticity and after considerable back-and-forth, he managed to convince the Singaporean producers to include it in the new show.

Source: Taiwan Today