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Edwin, the Locarno-winning director from Indonesia, is using the Taiwan Creative Content Fest’s project market to bring his “Sleep No More” to fruition. The dark fantasy film is being structured as an Indonesian-Taiwan coproduction and should shoot in the third quarter of next year.

With four Citra awards in his native Indonesia, Edwin has been a regular fixture on the art-house and festival circuits since breaking out in 2005 with his “Dajang Soembi, the Woman Who Was Married to a Dog.” His 2021 feature “Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash” won the Golden Leopard top prize at Locarno.

The new film’s story is set in an Indonesian factory that manufactures custom-made fake body parts. Its workers have hidden dark and greedy sides and the place’s elderly owner knows how to bring out those demons. Despite being warned by a Taiwanese visitor, a young woman seeks out the factory’s secret.

“Much of our human experience deals with how we escape from uncertainties and working is a significant part. People are laboring to attain economic stability, healthcare security. But, in reality, our jobs can be imprisoning. And seeking certainty may lead us down a dark road, bringing us to an endless, uncertain path,” says Edwin. “The fear of uncertainty is frustrating to me. But in another light, I am grateful to know that the only true certainty in life is the uncertainty itself. Therefore, I want to explore the horror genre that lives between imagination and expectation, the certain and uncertain.”

The film will be produced by Indonesia’s Palari Films and Taiwan outfit Volos Films, a prolific co-producer. They have assembled some 50% of the $750,000 budget through local investors.

“We molded this story by drawing upon the people-to-people connection between Indonesia and Taiwan under the historical context of the export of Indonesian migrant workers to Taiwan in the 1970s,” said Taurisia, the founder of Palari Films. “We choose to develop a horror film as the core to the audience of both places.”

“‘Sleep No More’ brings together horror and fantasy elements with a contemporary and much-needed reflection on the exploitation of human capital in Asian societies,” said Stefano Centini, the founder of Volos Films.

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