Award-winning filmmaker and Cultural Medallion recipient Eric Khoo who helms Zhao Wei Films, revived the Singapore film industry and put Singapore onto the international film map in 1995. He was the first Singaporean to have his films invited to major film festival such as Toronto, Busan, Berlin, Telluride, Venice and Cannes. Be With Me opened the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes 2005 and My Magic, his fourth feature, was nominated for the Cannes Palme d’Or in 2008. Tatsumi, his first animated feature, was invited to the 64th Cannes Film Festival.
Besides his filmmaking achievements, Khoo has produced several award-winning films including 15 (2003) and Apprentice (2016). He also served as President of the Jury at The Locarno International Film Festival in 2010, headed the juries at 2012 Asian Film Awards, 2012 Rotterdam International Film Festival and the 2013 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival. He was invited to be on the official Cannes short film competition jury in 2017.
Khoo is the showrunner for the first HBO Asia Original horror anthology series Folklore, and the HBO Asia food anthology series Food Lore which premiered at Tokyo International Film Festival.
Folklore Season 2 is the third time Eric Khoo is collaborating with WarnerMedia on an HBO Asia Original and his first returning series with the network.
Shih-Han Liao (Taiwan)
Director of Folklore S2: The Rope
Shih-Han Liao graduated from National Cheng-Chi University with a degree in Radio and Television. After his military discharge, he has worked as director assistant, deputy director, screenplay writer and producer. He has always been dedicated to elevating both his creativity and production in the TV/Film industry. In 2013, his television directorial debut A Midsummer Night in Tainan was nominated for 5 Golden Bell Awards and he was again nominated for best director for mini-series Cigarette in 2014.
After being nominated for Golden Bell Awards, Taipei Film Festival, and Golden Harvest Awards for “Outstanding Short Film”, he also directed a supernatural and horror television show called A House of Toy Bricks in 2017. With all his past accolades and diversified experience in television and film, he focused on depicting the authentic Taiwanese folk custom with his thriller/ horror film, The Rope Curse in 2018 which was a box office success.
Seiko Matsuda (Japan)
Director of Folklore S2: The Day the Wind Blew
Seiko Matsuda is affectionately known as the “Eternal Idol” in Japan, starting off as a pop singer-songwriter. A timeless idol and one of Japan’s biggest stars, Matsuda has sold more than 30 million records in her native Japan, including 14 No. 1 albums and 26 consecutive No. 1 singles. She has also released albums in Mandarin and English.
As an ever-evolving artist, Matsuda has starred in numerous motion pictures and TV dramas such as Nippon Television Network’s special TV drama The One And Only, which earned a record- breaking rating and won the Asian Television Award for Best Single Drama in December 2005. In 2007, she received the Spotlight Award
at the internationally acclaimed Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2007. Moreover, she starred in the 2008 live-action motion picture Grave Of The Fireflies, which won the Jury’s Special Award at the 18th Japan Movie Critics Award. Most recently, Matsuda collaborated with world-renowned Singaporean director Eric Khoo in Ramen Teh, a Singapore-Japan-France co-production which was officially selected for the Culinary Cinema at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival. Folklore S2: The Day the Wind Blew is Matsuda’s directorial debut.
Sittisiri Mongkolsiri (Thailand)
Director of Folklore S2: Broker Of Death
Sittisiri Mongkolsiri graduated from the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication at Thammasat University majoring in film. His short film Yesterday (2008) won the Special Suphannahong Award (Thai Oscars), and he went on to direct commercial videos and advertisements for brands such as Samsung, QQ and Thai Airways. Most notably, his short film Midnight Sun (2016) for Thai cosmetics brand Cute Press was awarded Best Film of Asia Pacific at the Berlin Fashion Film Festival 2017.
The vivid visual aesthetics and absurd sense of humour in Midnight Sun drew the attention of Wisit Sasanatieng, one of the leading Thai New Wave filmmakers, who encouraged the younger filmmaker to shoot Inhuman Kiss (2019), marking Sittisiri Mongkolsiri’s full-length debut. His unique approach made the film wildly successful and Inhuman Kiss became the third biggest Thai film when it was released in March 2019. The film was also Thailand’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2020 Oscars.
Erik Matti (Philippine)
Director of Folklore S2: 7 Days Of Hell
Erik Matti’s prolific career has seen him take on many hats not only as a writer and director but also as an actor, acting coach and producer, even as an amateur cook. In 2003, he co-founded Reality Entertainment Inc. under whose banner his most critically acclaimed works On The Job, Honor Thy Father, Seclusion, Buybust, and The Entity have been produced and screened internationally from Pucheon to Toronto, Fribourg, Sitges to Tokyo, Neuchatel, Udine and Cannes to name a few.
He directed the Philippine episode in the HBO Asia series Food Lore titled “Island of Dreams” where he won Best Director at the 2020 ContentAsia Awards. He also directed the HBO Asia Original crime series On The Job, which was the only Asian title in-competition at the 78th Venice Film Festival, where John Arcilla won Best Actor at this prestigious event.
However, his love and passion for film extends his own work. As an outspoken defender of Philippine Cinema, Erik Matti’s involvement in the film community as well as his personal brand of activism have always pushed for positive changes in the Philippine film industry.
Billy Christian (Indonesia)
Director of Folklore S2: Grandma’s Kiss
Billy Christian started making short films when he was in high school. He graduated from the Jakarta Institute of the Arts and started his film career as an assistant director for feature films and TV commercials, and also films for television. His first film was a horror film titled Hi5teria which screened at Puchon International Film Festival 2012. His film project Blue Blood won NAFF IT PROJECT award at Puchon Film Festival. Tuyul Part 1 won best horror film in the Winter Film Festival, Los Angeles in 2016.
Billy continues making feature films and now is working on his 12th feature film. His later works focused on the horror and fantasy genre. Beside film directing, he has also written some of his film scripts and created his own character design and storyboards. Billy started making YouTube videos in 2018 focused on supernatural and indigo people and gained 390,000 YouTube subscribers in 2019.
This is the second time Billy Christian is directing an HBO Asia Original, the first being the Indonesian episode of Food Lore titled “Maria’s Secret Recipe”.
Nicole Midori Woodford
Director of Folklore S2: The Excursion
Nicole Midori Woodford is a Singaporean film director, writer and editor. She is an alumnus of Berlinale Talents at the Berlin International Film Festival as well as the Asian Film Academy at the Busan International Film Festival in 2010, at which she was awarded a prize for Outstanding Performance by renowned Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. Her short film For We Are Strangers made its world premiere at the 20th Busan International Film Festival and competed in the Wide Angle Short Film Competition.
Permanent Resident, another short film, was selected to compete in the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2018. Nicole’s upcoming debut feature film project, You Are There, was selected in the inaugural edition of SEAFIC lab (Southeast Asian Fiction Lab), a feature film script lab in Thailand. Her project was awarded two awards, clinching the Open SEA Fund award and the SEAFIC-TFL award in conjunction with the Torino Film Lab. It is currently in pre-production.