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108 Media Bringing YA Book ‘A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts’ into Animated Afterlife

Pictured: Lester Hsi, Tricia Lee (top L-R); Ying Chang Compestine [Photo: Ben Krantz]
Pictured: Lester Hsi, Tricia Lee (top L-R); Ying Chang Compestine [Photo: Ben Krantz]

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108 Media Bringing YA Book ‘A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts’ into Animated Afterlife

Global content development, financing and rights management studio 108 Media has picked up the option and begun pre-production on award-winning author Ying Chang Compestine’s hit English-language YA book A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts for a unique new animated anthology horror series (8 x 30′), to be produced out of North America and Asia for the global market.

The book will be adapted and all episodes will be written by L.A.-based showrunner and Tricia Lee (director, Blood Hunters, Silent Retreat) with the series being helmed by Taiwan’s renowned filmmaker Lester Hsi, who masterminded the top horror hit of the Taiwanese box office in 2020 and subsequent Netflix hit, The Bridge Curse.

“I am thrilled to be working with the team at 108 Media and collaborating with Lester to bring these deliciously macabre ghost stories to life on the screen,” said Lee, who has been named to Hollywood’s 2020 Black List, CAPE List and Young & Hungry List for her writing. “Each animated story will leave you exhilarated, chilled to the bone and hungry for more!”

Set across different epochs surrounding Chinese culture across the world, the series is made up of eight self-contained ‘hungry ghost’ stories, laid out as eight courses of a banquet in live-action appetizer/dessert bookends (filmed unique to each language and market) wrapped around its animated main course, with each different dish representing a ghastly tale of horror speaking to our deepest regrets and desires.

Hsi will lead the project as creative director of the series, applying his skill at blending stunning visuals and special effects into interesting stories of mixed genres to the show’s artistic vision. He will be responsible for the visual presentation, animation and effects in addition to directing creative talent from various Taiwan-based animation studios. The director, who studied multimedia art animation in graduate school, said that A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts will fulfill his dream to create a brilliant animated project.

Billed as the first animated horror series of its kind, combining elements of real recipes, animation, live action and historical touchpoints, A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts will be produced and financed by 108 Media with the development and production being jointly conducted out of Los Angeles and Taipei towards an early Q4 2022 delivery in both English and Mandarin languages at the same time.

108 Media, together with a collective global talent of Asian-American writer-producers, Asian directors and Taiwanese animation companies, aims to keep the series diverse, authentic and creatively balanced for the global markets. 108 Media will also be co-producing this project with Taipei-based Studio76 and its distribution arm Studio886, which is dedicated to developing original IPs from Taiwan and the greater region, focusing on producing and distributing content that travels in global markets.

Author Compestine, is an award-winning writer, sought-after speaker and cooking show host. She has authored over 20 books and is a leading national authority on Asian culture and cuisine, who is frequently invited to lectures at schools and various organizations around the world.

“Nearly everything I write has something to do with food, I believe it’s a combination of history, literature and cuisine that lets us truly understand a culture and its people,” said Compestine. “By using food and ghosts as metaphors, I hope to entice my audiences to learn more about Chinese culture and gain a better understanding of life there, both in the past and present.”

Justin Deimen, President (Production) of 108 Media who identified the material through his long-time friendship with Compestine, said, “This is such a wonderful and vibrant book with a collection of stories so wisely devised and so creepily presented with a haunting sense of human foibles. Working with the creative team of Ying, Tricia, Studio76 and Lester has been a joy and I hope that through this unique hybrid adaptation of elevated genre animation, more viewers can get a glimpse of the chilling and rich stories from around the world.”

Studio76 and Studio886 will be leading the Greater China distribution of the series together with 108 Media selling to the rest of the world. CEO Dennis Yang commented, “A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts combines elements of traditional Eastern culture with Western audiences, and we are extremely happy to work together with the collaboration of a multinational team that demonstrates the strength of Taiwanese talent.”

The production will be executive produced by Justin Deimen, Tricia Lee, Ying Compestine, Micah Tadena and Matthew Wilson for 108 Media, and Dennis Yang and Lester Hsi for Studio76.

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