Astro forks out 4 times more budget for DO[S]A series

Astro will fork out about four times more than its usual budget for its new local television show and latest equipment for the upcoming original miniseries, DO[S]A, according to Astro Malay business VP Datuk Khairul Salleh Anwar. A+M understands that this total budget, would reach up to an estimated figure of more than RM1 million.

Datuk Khairul who spoke at the original series’ gala night last week also added that, Do[s]a series will utilise different gears, equipment and facilities from the usual ones used for local productions. Besides that, actors were also required to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta for language coaching and martial arts training.

DO[S]A was shot mainly in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur over a total of 58 days. The transnational eight-episode miniseries includes actors from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, featuring a cast of Datuk M Nasir, Roy Marten, Ashraf Sinclair, Reuben Elishama, Remy Ishak and Hisham Hamid. It also roped in renowned Indonesian director, Ifa Isfansyah and acclaimed screenwriter, Salman Aristo.

Datuk Khairul said, “As a leading content creator, Astro is constantly pushing the boundaries to satisfy a growing demand from audiences across the region for compelling story telling at high production values differentiated from content currently available. These strategic partnerships enable us to effectively leverage on diverse talent, cost and distribution territories allowing us to monetise and extract value from developing new IPs that resonate with regional audiences.”

“We are confident that DO[S]A, our Astro original series, will cross over to audiences beyond Malaysia as there has been much interest from both the broadcast and OTT worlds around the region," he added. DO[S]A will debut on 14 February first in Malaysia and Brunei on Astro Channel 480, Astro ‘on demand', Astro GO and NJOI NOW.

Meanwhile, Astro has also entered into several strategic content creation partnerships with "renowned producers and filmmakers across several countries to produce and distribute original, premium miniseries" for the ASEAN markets.

These series include 3 A.M. Bangkok Ghost Stories in Thailand and Door in the Philippines with Manila's Epicmedia Productions in 2018; adaptation and remake of The Journey by China's mm2 Entertainment and India's Wee Folk Entertainment; and collaboration with CJ E&M of South Korea to distribute Korean content to multiple territories and co-produce content with regional appeal.

Astro will also collaborate with Indonesia’s Screenplay Films on Polis Evo 2, which follows an anti-narcotics squad and is due for cinema release this year in Indonesia and Malaysia featuring Zizan, Shaheizy Sam and Raelene Shah.

The next in the pipeline of "Astro Original Series" is Sembilan, which is also scheduled to be released in 2018. Sembilan, is an original horror-thriller mini-series and another Malaysia-Indonesia collaboration with an "A-List" cast.

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