EXCLUSIVE: Makati-based BlackOps Studios Asia officially acquired the development and worldwide rights this Sunday to two short films that have made waves in the last two years.
Writer and director Epoy Deyto’s QCinema short film finalist, Pixel Paranoia is first on the roster which BlackOps will grow as a feature-length action horror hybrid. Actors Niko Lorenzo Tabid, Angela Munsayac and Jaruis Oloquina starred in the short which focused on a politically-charged look into the back alleys of the Dark Web market and mass surveillance.
It’s critical reception last year lended recognition with Armando Dela Cruz describing it as “tremendous fun”, wherein “anything goes, be it a deliciously grindhouse-slash-b-horror-esque surgery snuff or a drone-like black-and-white footage that—creepily—seems to have found a life of its own”, while John Tawasil tells of its “…certain texture”, “especially in the last few sequences where things get really crazy”.
BlackOps Studio Asia had a hand in producing the short project next tollidBilly Productions, Shonenbat Collective and Story Street. Deyto will serve as producer this time for the feature version next to BlackOps development head Jay Pou, and with BlackOps’s own Pedring A. Lopez and Rex Lopez executive producing.
The second project listed will be 2016 Filipino action horror, Kampon: Ghost Assassin, based on a concept also by Shonenbat who produced the shortfilm with Primarch. Film duo Joal Eduarte and Carlo Cielo penned the short with Eduarte at the helm, and with Karen Testibia (The Entity – a.k.a Nilalang) and Japo Parcero (Expressway, Ang Probinsiyano) starring with action sequences choreographed by Jearome Calica (Asian Treasures).
BlackOps will expand its narrative centered on a female assassin who takes on contracts for the dead; the new incarnation sees our heroine now faced with a contract tied to a powerful politician which ensues a bloodbath that threatens the very fabric of human existence.
Kampon: Ghost Assassin was screened at various film festivals throughout the Philippines such as Gawad CCP and CineKasimanwa. Eduarte and Cielo will have a hand in developing the new movie with BlackOps’s own Pedring A. Lopez, Rex Lopez and Jay Pou producing.
Both projects now add to the growing resumé at the Philippine-based BlackOps which also has offices in Hong Kong and Vietnam.
BlackOps has received recognition and acclaim from wide audiences for its several genre-film ventures with Viva Films of late, namely horror thrillers Darkroom (2017) and Binhi (2015) and the 2015 award-winning international action horror hit, The Entity (Nilalang) starring Cesar Montano and Maria Ozawa. Pedring A. Lopez directed all three feature films and also stands to continue his craft behind the lens for two more upcoming titles, including femme-fatale actioner, Maria starring Christine Reyes with a late 2018 release, and multi-national crime thriller, Breach, which remains pending as of early last year.
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.
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