Coconuts TV unveils iflix documentary series uncovering Asia’s ‘weird and wondrous’

South East Asian media company Coconuts has unveiled its new six-part documentary series, eight months after signing a deal with streaming giant iflix.

The alternative media company was commissioned by iflix last year to bring the Coconuts TV format to the OTT platform, thereby giving the Malaysian-founded service its first original docu-series.

The documentary claims to showcase “uncensored, weird and wondrous” stories coming from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand.

Episodes will cover subjects such as Miss Tiffany’s transgender beauty pageant in Pattaya, “midget boxing” in Manila and skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur.

The series will be available only to iflix subscribers, although Coconuts will play the first episode on its YouTube channel.

The company is also looking to partner with iflix on a series of screenings events in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Bangkok.

Coconuts Media Founder and CEO, Byron Perry said: “Our goal with Coconuts TV on iflix is to knock your socks off with weird and wondrous documentary stories that you can’t get anywhere else… and we humbly hope we’ve achieved that. Not only did we want to shed light on these untold people and phenomena, we also wanted our audience to give a damn about them.”

The new series comes as demand for quality original content on OTT services heats up among regional players, with the Singtel-owned HOOQ recently revealing six original pilots made by Asian film-makers. One of those will eventually win a commission to become a full series.

On a global level, Netflix has also unveiled an eye-opening original content pipeline for 2018, with around 700 new shows and films earmarked. Of those, 80  will be produced in a foreign language.

Iflix itself has made some recent in-roads into the original sphere with the launch of a stand-up comedy programme called Oi! Jaga Mulut, which roughly translates as ‘watch your mouth’.

The platform’s global director of original programming, Mark Francis, who once described “South East Asian television drama as “frankly pretty shit”, said the deal with Coconuts came from “a common passion for bringing unconventional, compelling and deeply relevant stories about Asia to our audiences”.

“The series showcases real people and places overlooked or even shunned by traditional news media, taking an unfiltered and youth-oriented approach to news and subculture – offering a perspective on the region you don’t often get to see,” he added.

Coconuts has previously had experience in the OTT arena, after selling Highland, a documentary mini-series about the growing marijuana legalisation movement in Thailand, to Netflix last year.



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