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Robot Playground Media teams up with global animation companies to deliver A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts

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!

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