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Netflix launches an exclusive Chinese New Year collection

In celebration of Chinese New Year and the year of the ox, Netflix is set to simultaneously launch the ‘Lunar New Year’ collection which will be made available in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The Chinese New Year collection includes some of the latest exclusive films in 2020, such as Little Big Women, which explores womanhood, Classmates Minus, a dark comedy that explores the midlife crisis; and The Yin-Yang Master: Dream Of Eternity, which stars Mark Chao and Deng Lun. 

According to Netflix, the collection will also showcase Mandarin-language premium titles including A Sun, the criminal investigation series The Victims’ GameTigertail, a story about the life of overseas Chinese and more. To access some of the best Mandarin-language films available on the platform, simply enter “888” into the Netflix search bar.

Here’s a breakdown of the new projects set to become available.

The Netflix ‘Lunar New Year’ Collection:

Little Big Women

Premiering exclusively on Netflix on 2/5.
Cast: Chen Shu-fang, Vivian Hsu, Hsieh Ying-xuan

In 2020, Little Big Women wasthe top-grossing local production in Taiwan’s box office. Golden Horse Awards Best Actress Chen Shu-fang, gifted actress Hsieh Ying-xuan, the diversely talented celebrity and Executive Producer Vivian Hsu, and rising talent Sun Ke-fang come together as a family and delicately present familial relationships and connections unique to Taiwanese culture. Little Big Women was nominated for six Golden Horse Awards in 2020. Lin Sho-ying got her start by selling her famous shrimp rolls on the streets and ended up opening her own restaurant.

After her husband walked out on her, Sho-ying brought up her three daughters all by herself. Sho-ying’s eldest went on to become an internationally renowned dancer and her second daughter became a plastic surgeon in Taipei. Her youngest daughter took over the family restaurant. On Sho-ying’s 70th birthday, she receives news that her estranged husband has passed away. Her three daughters, all carrying their own problems, confront long-buried family scars together with their mother.

The Yin-Yang Master: Dream Of Eternity

Premiering exclusively on Netflix on 2/5
Cast: Mark Chao, Deng Lun, Wang Ziwen, Jessie Li

Starring Deng Lun from Ashes of Love and Mark Chao from Eternal Love, The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity is based onan iconic novel by Japanese fantasy novelist Baku Yumemakura. Boasting some of Asia’s top talent, the film was produced by the special effects team that worked on the Sci-Fi film Snowpiercer. Taiwanese designer Rosalie Huang took on the task of styling the characters. The music in The Yin-Yang Master: Dream of Eternity is created by Ghost in the Shell composer Kenji Kawai.

In a world of chaos and turmoil, evil spirits awake, and gods gather. Young Yin-Yang master Qingming travels to Imperial City on his master’s orders, where he attends a Heaven Worship Ceremony. Qingming is tasked with sealing an evil serpent for good, preventing the serpent from waking from its 300-year slumber and plaguing the people once again. However, the now released serpent is mighty and powerful. Qingming, together with a warrior named Boya, Master Long Ye of the Southern Territory, and Imperial Priest of the Department of Celestial Observation He Shouyue, team up to eliminate the serpent. In the midst of turmoil and crisis, an earth-shattering conspiracy involving the princess begins to surface.

Classmates Minus

Premieres exclusively on Netflix on 2/20
Cast: Liu Kuan-ting, Nadow Lin, Shih Ming-shuai, Cheng Jen-shuo

Four high school friends, now middle-aged men, often gather at a bubble tea shop, where they share their woes in life. Blockage, who has a kind heart but struggles to express himself, hopes to find and marry a woman that understands him for who he is. Fan Man devotes his life to work with next to no appreciation. To his shock, Tin Can discovers that his goddess-like high school crush has since become a prostitute. Tom dreams of becoming a film director but ends up running for legislator. 

Classmates Minus depicts the lives of ordinary people in Taiwan with a twist of humor. 2019 Golden Horse Awards Best New Director Huang Hsin-Yao, who is working with Executive Producer Chung Mong-hong for the second time, narrates his own film once again and explores the joys and woes in life with the four friends in Classmates Minus.

Your Name Engraved Herein

Now streaming  exclusively on Netflix
Cast: Tseng Ching-hua, Edward Chen

In 1987, Taiwan’s half-century-long martial law came to an end. Jia-han and Birdy meet in high school and gradually grow closer to each other. The two go from being a little more than friends to madly in love, which was seen as taboo in that day and age. As schools no longer imposed strict haircut regulations and began to enroll female students, it seems as if society is progressing and becoming more liberal. Nevertheless, the pair’s feelings for each other and their desire to explore love and their sexuality remains suppressed deep within their hearts. When a new student named Ban-ban comes into the picture, the secretive yet searing first love between Jia-Han and Birdy faces uncertainty.

Executive Producer Barry Qu and Director Liu Kuang-hui join hands to create the most touching romantic film in 2021, recreating the untold love stories of a generation of youth in the ’80s. In addition to the “couple of the year” Tseng Ching-hua and Edward Chen, Your Name Engraved Herein boasts a strong cast that includes Fabio Grangeon, Jason Wang, and Leon Dai, whose extraordinary performance earned him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in the Golden Horse Awards.

Detention

Now streaming exclusively on Netflix
Cast: Li Lingwei, Han Ning, Huang Guanzhi, Jack Yao

Detention, which is based on the namesake Taiwanese adventure game produced by Red Candle Games, takes place during Taiwan’s infamous White Terror era. By combining the political atmosphere during Taiwan’s five-decade-long martial law and elements of the local religion, Detention tells a tale of untold stories that took place at the height of Taiwan’s political oppression. The story kicks off in Greenwood High School in the ’90s, where transfer student Liu Yun-hsiang (Li Lingwei) stumbles upon forbidden grounds on campus and encounters the spirit of Fang Jui-hsin (Han Ning), a former student at the school. This surprise encounter eventually exposes a dark page in Taiwan’s history that has been suppressed for three decades, and how students and faculty fought for freedom during an era of extreme censorship, only to be met with prosecution.

The Victims’ Game

Now streaming exclusively on Netflix
Cast: Joseph Chang, Hsu Wei-ning, Jason Wang

The Victims’ Game, jointly directed by The Tag-Along: The Devil Fish  director David Chuang and Chen Kuan-chung , showcases a fantastic local cast from Taiwan, including River Huang, Ding Ning, Cheng Jen-shuo, and  Ruby Lin. The series swept the 55th Golden Bell Awards with eight nominations, and was also nominated for the 3rd  Asian Academy Creative Awards. Rising star Moon Li’s eye-catching performance earned her the Golden Bell Awards for Best Potential Newcomer, while Joseph Chang won the Asia Contents Awards Best Actor at the 25th Busan International Film Festival.

Fang Yi-jen (Joseph Chang) is a forensic scientist with severe social impairment induced by Asperger syndrome. While investigating an unusual homicide, he stumbles across a key piece of evidence involving his estranged daughter (Moon Lee). To get to the bottom of things, Yi-jen uses his forensic specialties to mislead his hot-tempered partner, Investigator Chao Cheng-kuan (Jason Wang). At the same time, Yi-jen teams up with cut-throat journalist Hsu Hai-yin (Hsu Wei-ning), who holds important clues to his daughter’s whereabouts. The duo gradually uncover the gruesome truth behind the multiple homicides.

A Sun

Now streaming exclusively on Netflix
Cast: Wu Chien-ho, Liu Kuan-ting, Greg Hsu, Chen Yi-wen, Samantha Ko

A-Wen and Qin have two sons. Their youngest, A-Ho, and his friend Radish end up in juvenile detention for committing aggravated assault. A-Ho’s pregnant girlfriend, Xiao Yu, yearns to have a normal, happy life with A-Ho after he gets out of juvie. A-Wen and Qin’s eldest son, A-Hao, is a good student. Yet, beneath his gentle and kind appearance lies troubles that seem unsolvable.

Everyone in this story hopes for the sun to shine in their lives again, but secret after secret is relentlessly exposed, setting in motion a tidal wave with no end in sight. Golden Horse Awards Best Director Chung Mong-hong’s fifth feature film, A Sun’s seamless production and extraordinary acting has earned the film six Golden Horse Awards. On top of that, A Sun has enjoyed international recognition and will enter the race for this year’s Academy Awards for the Best International Feature Film on behalf of Taiwan.

Tigertail

Now streaming  exclusively on Netflix
Cast: Hong-Chi Lee, Christine Ko, Joan Chen, Yang Kuei-mei

Taiwanese-American screenwriter Alan Yang, who won an Emmy for Master of None, drew inspiration from his own family and brings to life a story of self-exploration that spans across seven decades and two continents.

Tigertail portrays changing times by contrasting a simple, rural part of Taiwan in the 1950s against modern day New York, a city that never sleeps. Many lines in the film are in Taiwanese, giving the story even more authenticity. The name “Tigertail” was inspired by the protagonist’s hometown, Huwei, Yunlin. Tigertail has a formidable cast that includes Golden Horse Awards Best Actress Yang Kuei-mei, Golden Horse Awards Best New Performer Hing-Chi Lee, Golden Horse Awards Best Actress Joan Chen, singer-actor Frankie Kao’s daughter Chirstine Ko, and Skyscraper star Tzi Ma.

Dear Ex

Now streaming  exclusively on Netflix
Cast: Roy Chiu, Hsieh Ying-xuan, Spark Chen, Joseph Huang

The first feature film directed by Mag Hsu and Hsu Chih-yen, Dear Ex stars Roy Chiu and Hsieh Ying-xuan. The film swept Taipei Film Awards with Best Feature Film, Best Actor, and Best Actress.  Hsieh won Best Actress at the 55th Golden Horse Awards for her part in Dear Ex.

The story starts with San-lian (Hsieh Ying-xuan) discovering that her recently-deceased ex-husband had altered his insurance policy before his death, replacing the beneficiary, their son, with a stranger named Jay (Roy Chiu). An enraged San-lian brings her son along to confront Jay. When San-lian’s son unexpectedly moves in with Jay, she is forced to reassess her relationship with them both.

Us and Them

Now streaming  exclusively on Netflix
Cast: Jing Boran, Zhou Dongyu; Director: Rene Liu

Us and Them is the first film directed by singer-actor Rene Liu. Staring Golden Horse Awards Best Actress Zhou Dongyu, Us and Them was nominated in five categories at the 55th Golden Horse Awards. Us and Them opens with Xiao-xiao (Zhou Dongyu) and Jian-qing (Jing Boran), who are from the same town, meeting on a train back home during the Spring Festival travel season. Together, they follow their dreams, fall in love, and then fall out of love. As fate would have it, the two meet again on a plane ten years laters. The film depicts the progression of their relationship, from madly in love to out of love, from crossing paths to reuniting, only to find that they can never go back to where they started, as lovers.

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