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Friday, October 23, 2020

Taiwan-Australia Sci-fi Series ‘Interface’ Secures Sonar Entertainment as Distributor

David Ellender’s Sonar Entertainment will handle international distribution of “Interface,” an e-sports sci-fi series conceived by Australian actress and screenwriter Ellie Popov. Production in Australia and Taiwan is set to begin in the first quarter of 2021.

The story involves a young tech wizard who is kidnapped and thrust into a cyber-punk world, the Circuit Games, which are a breeding ground for mind-controlling military technology.

Popov’s Red Empire Productions developed the show. The company’s Amie Casey will produce alongside Justin Jones and Zeus Zamani’s Los Angeles-based Thriller Films, Adam Horner’s Ignite Pictures (Australia), and Steve Chicorel and Kelly Mi Li’s Taipei-based Organic Media Group. Nick Kozakis (“Plague,” “Hunter”) is set to direct the majority of the episodes.

The series is a private-sector co-venture that does not use a co-production treaty, but expects to be able to access federal and state rebate schemes in Australia, and government production support schemes in Taiwan. Season 1 will log in as ten one-hour episodes: six shot in Australia and four shot in Taiwan.

The democratically-run island is increasingly becoming a hub for international TV production.

The core producers have already lined up Australian broadcast group Nine Entertainment as producer and Australia distributor. Rights in Taiwan have been pre-bought by Creative Century Entertainment which intends to broadcast “Interface” on MOD, Taiwan’s largest SVOD service, operated by Chunghwa Telecom.

Sonar is also handling “Cypher” an FBI series that features many of the same creatives as “Interface.” “Cypher” began play out on Netflix in several territories, and was also licensed for Taiwan to Creative Century, which is also streaming the show on MOD.

“While the rest of the industry struggles with Covid-19 challenges, we’re thankful we can deliver more quality content now with ‘Cypher’ and next year ‘Interface’,” said Ellender. Sonar says it will seek a U.S. platform for “Interface” once casting and production are complete.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to create content that empowers both Asian and Western stars to share lead roles for English-language content. We believe this production and others like it can help improve diversity standards in the global market,” said executive producer Li.

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