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Patrick Brzeski

Asia Bureau Chief

Netflix Unveils Chinese-Language Slate Topped by ‘Agent From Above,’ ‘Warriors of Future’

Netflix unveiled a small slate of Chinese-language content Thursday, led by the Taiwanese fantasy series Agent From Above and Hong Kong sci-fi blockbuster Warriors of Future.  “We’re committed to investing in and creating high-quality Chinese-language shows that we know will appeal to more audiences in Taiwan and around the world,” said Netflix’s manager of Chinese-language content Jerry […]

Tokyo: Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s ‘The Beasts’ Takes Grand Prix, Best Director, Actor Awards

Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s multi-layered thriller The Beasts nearly achieved a clean sweep of the Tokyo International Film Festival’s major awards categories Wednesday night in the Japanese capital. During a ceremony held in the city’s glitzy Ginza district, The Beasts came away with the Tokyo Grand Prix, the festival’s top honor, as well as best director honors […]

Sony Pictures Quarterly Profit Slips to $202M

Sony Pictures saw its fiscal second-quarter operating profit drop to $202 million, a decline of 30 percent from $288 million in the year-ago period. Revenue for the quarter ended Sept. 30, meanwhile, rose 3 percent to $2.44 billion from $2.37 billion. In yen terms, film unit profit slid 13 percent to 27.6 billion yen, while revenue […]

Shanghai Disneyland Locked Down Again Over COVID, With Guests Trapped Inside

The Walt Disney Co.’s flagship Shanghai Disney Resort abruptly closed its doors on Monday in response to China’s strict COVID-19 prevention measures, with all guests at the time of the announcement required to stay inside the park until they could present a negative test result. The decision marks the second time in 12 months that […]

Alejandro González Iñárritu on ‘Bardo’: “The Most Challenging Filmmaking I Have Ever Done”

Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu is no stranger to the Tokyo International Film Festival. He first visited the city with his debut feature film, Amores Perros (2000), and went on to win the festival’s prizes for both best director and best film. In 2006, he was back in the Japanese capital to shoot major […]

‘Tokyo Vice’ Producer Alan Poul Talks Season 2, Why Japan’s Capital Is the “Most Difficult” City to Shoot

American director and producer Alan Poul is best known to the industry for his work on prestige HBO series like Six Feet Under, The Newsroom and Big Love, but his career began, improbably, on a soundstage on the west side of Tokyo, Japan.  After graduating with a degree in Japanese language and literature from Yale […]

Tokyo: Sally Amaki, Jon Kabira to Host 2023 Crunchyroll Anime Awards in Japan (Exclusive)

Anime specialty service Crunchyroll has selected the star hosts for its first-ever live awards show, which will be held early next year in Japan. Renowned voice actress Sally Amaki and veteran entertainer Jon Kabira will co-host the 2023 Crunchyroll Anime Awards, the company said Tuesday at the Tokyo International Film Festival. “We share a deep […]

Tokyo: Donnie Yen on Stepping Behind the Camera for His Martial Arts Passion Project ‘Sakra’

Donnie Yen is among the exceedingly few actors of his generation to have worked at the highest levels of both Hollywood and the Chinese film industry. These days, though, he says he’s putting all his focus in the singular project of elevating Chinese commercial cinema’s reputation on the world stage.  Yen made his breakthrough way […]

Hirokazu Kore-eda Reveals First Look at His Netflix Series ‘The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House’

Internationally esteemed Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda has unveiled a first look at his debut drama series for Netflix, The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House. The sneak-peek images give fans a glimpse at Kore-eda’s original take on the rarefied world of the Japanese geisha.  Based on a best-selling manga by Aiko Koyama, the nine-episode series […]

Australian YA Series ‘Heartbreak High’ Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix

Netflix has ordered up a second season of its breakout Australian YA series Heartbreak High. Produced by Fremantle Australia and NewBe for Netflix, Heartbreak High‘s cast and creators will soon reassemble in Sydney for preproduction and filming.  The show is a reimagining of a classic Australian series that ran for seven seasons in the 1990s […]

Xi Jinping’s Extended Rule Casts Shadow Over China’s Film Market

As Xi Jinping prepares to accept a groundbreaking third term as China’s leader, his country faces gathering headwinds on various fronts: slumping economic growth, deteriorating geopolitical relations with the West and an uncertain exit strategy from the pandemic, among other challenges. China’s film sector is no exception. Looking to trends under his recent rule to […]

‘Heartbreak High’ Producer on “Not Dumbing It Down” and Leaning Into Diversity to Show “What Australian Youth Actually Looks Like Today” (Exclusive)

Netflix’s reboot of Australian YA drama Heartbreak High has become one of the streamer’s biggest surprise hits of late 2022. The first season of the show has struck a chord with young viewers around the globe, ranking in Netflix’s global top 10 list for English TV every week since its release on Sept. 14.  The […]