Episode 1 in production as pilot order for Mediacorp (Singapore)

London/Singapore, 13th June 2023: Robot Playground Media (RPM) has today announced it has recruited a team of top animation companies from APAC and rest of the world to produce the previously announced option pick-up for A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts - a 10-episode animated horror anthology series, based on award-winning author Ying Chang Compestine’s hit English YA book of the same title. Episode 1 of the anthology, titled ‘Egg Fried Rice’, is currently in production as a pilot order from Singapore’s national media network and largest content creator Mediacorp.

The project was one of the winning pitches at Mediacorp’s Content Development Pitch 2022 competition, which was part of Creatives Assembly, the company’s annual call for content ideas. The pilot episode ‘Egg Fried Rice’, slated for an early 2024 release, has been commissioned for production and will be financed by Mediacorp with 108 Media co-financing on a series order. RPM will be the lead producer for the anthology and has assembled a lineup of exciting animation studios that will each create its unique horror short, including Igloo Studio (Thailand), Studio Climb (Malaysia), Something Big (France), Disnosc (France), Werlen Meyer (France) and Xanthus Animation (Taiwan).

More animation studios are soon to be announced. RPM will be producing two episodes itself, including the pilot. The series is made up of ten self-contained ghost stories laid out as a ten-course banquet, complete with appetizers, main courses and dessert, with each different dish representing a ghastly tale of horror and takes place during the Hungry Ghost Festival - a Chinese custom where food offerings are made to appease ghosts roaming the earthly realm during the seventh month of the lunar calendar. Tapping into the global Chinese diaspora and its cultural influences, particularly its cuisine, each animation studio will bring their distinct visual flair and imagination to these horror stories set in different cities around the world. This approach aims to keep the series diverse, authentic and creatively balanced for the global markets.

Each episode will be between 13 and 24 minutes long and the episodes will be titled:

  1. Egg Fried Rice
  2. Steamed Dumplings
  3. Sweet and Sour Pork
  4. Hot Pot
  5. Kung Pao Chicken
  6. Peking Duck
  7. Cold Platter
  8. Glutinous Rice Balls
  9. Dim Sum
  10. Long Life Noodles

Ying Chang Compestine, the author of "A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts", is an award-winning writer, sought-after speaker, and cooking show host. She has authored over twenty books and is a leading national authority on Asian culture and cuisine, who is frequently invited to lectures at schools and various organizations around the world. The production will be executive produced by Justin Deimen, Ying Compestine, and Abhi Rastogi for 108 Media and Ervin Han, Bernard Toh and Raul Garcia for Robot Playground Media.

Ervin Han, CEO and Co-Founder of Robot Playground Media, said, “The combination of Chinese food and the afterlife is an irresistible pairing for what we envision to be a groundbreaking animated series for a modern audience. Ten deliciously macabre tales created by some of the most exciting indie studios from Asia and around the world. Horror is a genre that has been underserved in animation for too long. With Banquet, we aim to create a long-running horror series that will satisfy the appetite of a global audience hungry for bold, fun and imaginative adult animation. Let the feast begin!”

Angeline Poh, Chief Customer & Corporate Development Officer of Mediacorp, added “Robot Playground Media wowed us with their pitch for A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts at our Content Development Pitch competition. We are thrilled to be working with them to produce 'Egg Fried Rice'. This collaboration underlines Mediacorp’s commitment to invest in the development of good stories, as well as our dedication to nurturing and supporting creative talents. This exciting and innovative concept promises a spine-chilling viewing experience for the global audience, and we can't wait to delve into this unique culinary journey of terror!"

Read more HERE.

About Robot Playground Media:

Singapore-based Robot Playground Media is an award-winning animation studio known for its diverse range of titles that cater to audiences of all ages – from preschool and kids series to adult animation and indie short films. It specializes in developing Asian-inspired concepts and projects across all platforms for a global audience. Its works can be seen on Disney, Cartoon Network, Netflix, and Mediacorp. The company is a subsidiary of London and Singapore-based 108 Media.

About 108 Media:

From its development, licensing, financing, ad-sales, and production offices and outposts in Singapore, Toronto, Los Angeles, Tokyo, London (HQ), Manila and Kuala Lumpur, 108 Media is a fast-growing global IP and media asset investment firm in the TMT space, redefining and revolutionizing the way content is created, curated and consumed - with a key focus on emerging markets and mergers & acquisitions. Empowering visionary creators and championing bold new voices to satisfy the demand for provocative, diverse, and compelling content with our deep and fully stocked creative and financing infrastructure, 108 Media produces high quality content from emerging markets for global audiences across all media platforms. 108 Media achieves this through a fully integrated cross-border and cross-cultural media and entertainment ecosystem spanning financing and investment, corporate partnerships, production and development, branded entertainment, sales & content licensing business divisions.

About Raul Garcia:

A former Disney animator, Raul’s impressive list of animation credits include classics such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, and Pocahontas. At Paramount Pictures, he worked on films like The Rugrats in Paris, and Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, which was nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar. As a director and producer, Raul helmed the animated horror anthology feature Extraordinary Tales. One of the short pieces from the film, The Fall of the House of Usher, was shortlisted in 2012 for a Best Animated Short Film Oscar. In 2015, Raul was nominated as Best Director of a Feature Animated Film at the ANNIE Awards.

About Ying Compestine:

A leading national authority on Asian culture and cuisine and former food editor for Martha Stewart's Whole Living magazine, Ying Chang Compestine is a multi-talented author of 25 books and former host of the popular TV cooking show New Ideas for Delicious Meals on Phoenix TV. She grew up in Wuhan, China during the Chinese Cultural Revolution and uses these experiences, as well as her passion for food, in all her writing. Her highly acclaimed novel about her life growing up in China during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party, has received over 30 national awards and has been included in school syllabi globally. Ying is frequently invited to lectures at schools and various organizations around the world.

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