On Friday, June 14th, Asia’s first LGBT film streaming platform, GagaOOLala, finally came. The Taiwanese OTT platform is currently expanding into 8 territories that constitute South Asia. Also, adding up to a total of 21 countries across the continent, accessing over one-third of the global population.
GagaOOLala is starting its journey in India with 377 LGBT titles. This number, however, is expected to reach well over 400 by the end of the month. 377 is an oddly specific number, and with good reason, as it brings honour to Section 377!. This was done to celebrate the repeal of the law that banned homosexual acts in the country which was finally removed from the penal code on September 6th, 2018.
What Can You Expect?
Among its vast catalogue, GagaOOLala will feature a ton of exclusively queer content. Some of this has never been distributed in India.
These include international box office hits, like the recent Taiwanese gay/lesbian family drama – Bao Bao. Multiple film award winners like last years Thai entry for the Academy Awards – Malila: The Farewell Flower and the Filipino transgender drama – Those Long Haired Nights.
Multiple exclusive short films from filmmakers across the world like the classic series such as Queer as Folk. Furthermore, there are new gems like the multi-awarded French LGBT series – Les Engages and the first Singaporean gay series – People Like Us.
In addition, GagaOOLala has a diverse and growing slate of original content. It will produce its first original in India as part of the new season of Queer Asia.
The shooting of episodes did take place in 5 different countries of the region. The docu-series Queer Asia explores the uniqueness of the LGBT culture in India.
Thereby, GagaOOLala is looking for local producers, filmmakers and creators to collaborate and bring the series to life.
Collaborations and Expressions:
KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival is the largest queer film festival in India. It recently signed a 3-year collaboration agreement with GagaOOLala. The Taiwanese platform will sponsor the Best International Short Film Award during the period of the collaboration. They will also offer a distribution deal to each year’s winner.
Moreover, a selection of the Best Short Indian films ever screened at KASHISH will be available on GagaOOLala to all Asia, under the brand “Best of KASHISH”.
GagaOOLala founder, Jay Lin, expresses that “India is changing rapidly. What seemed impossible one year ago is now a reality. Thanks to events like this film festival and the people behind it. For almost a decade KASHISH has brought the best local and international LGBT films to the cinemas of Mumbai. This furthermore, builds up an amazing community. Through this partnership, GagaOOLala wants to bring these diverse stories to places where queer film festivals are still unthinkable. We are also looking for local projects to combine creative elements from South and Southeast Asia and distribute them globally.”
More About GagaOOLala:
The platform is one of the five members of the Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, a lobby that has pushed for same-sex marriage rights in the island for years.
On May 17th, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to pass the same-sex marriage bill.
Now, GagaOOLala looks forward to spreading the strength of the Taiwanese LGBT community, and help push for more equal rights in India and the rest of Asia through the power of the stories in its films.
GagaOOLala is currently available in 21 territories (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam), and it currently offers two types of memberships: a limited free one, and an unlimited VIP membership for 390 Rupees. The platform also updates new content every week.