GagaOOLala is Asia’s first streaming service created entirely for the LGBTI community.
The service currently has 350 titles and will be to available to subscribers in Southeast Asia. The countries which will have access to the service are; Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
The organizers of the Taiwan International Queer Film Festival launched GagaOOLala earlier this and have collated content from around the world.
‘After three years of running the (Taiwan) queer festival, I believed there must be another way to share this stories to more people as festivals only happen in specific locations for specific time and specific number of screenings and then it is over,’ GagaOOLala founder Jay Lin tolf Gay Star News.
‘Even if a festival does well, it only caters to small group of people and there must be more need than that, as we get the request from audiences.’
In several of the countries where GagaOOLala will be accessible it is illegal to be gay or transgender. The plight of LGBTI communities in some the countries is also not very positive.
But Lin decided the power of media and arts could play a role in making those societies more accepting. He would see countless films from across the world not get seen or distributed during his time as a juror for Teddy Awards and as founder of the Asia Pacific Queer film Festival Alliance.
‘I saw so much content was being made that’s not getting distributed or seen from Asia and other parts of the world and so I wanted to make it (GagaOOLala) available,’ Lin said.
‘Homosexuality may be a crime in certain countries, but then we also have to realize the importance and key role that media plays in changing mindsets. For example, our latest efforts of marriage equality in Taiwan.’
‘And so we will continue to play that role through Asia and find commonalities and mutual topics to ally together.’
Original LGBTI stories
Following in the footsteps of Netflix GagaOOLala will also create original content available only on the platform.
Its first original feature film is an international co-production between Taiwan and the Philippines called Tale of the Lost Boys. Directed by one of the innovators of gay cinema in the region, Joselito Altarejos it will also reinforce two of the platform’s main goals. The first goal is to open a channel of communication between the platform and the queer film festivals in Southeast Asia. The second is to find and promote more LGBTQ stories from the region.
GagaOOLala has already produced original content in collaboration with other brands. One of the series, Out People, stands out by placing focus on reality and exploring the lives of different queer personalities in Asia, from artists to politicians.
Some of the international content on GagaOOLala includes films such as Carol and Paris 5:59. The British Queer as Folk will also screen on the service.
Every month, the titles will be curated into topics that vary from the timely relevant. Such as, marriage equality to the the most camp and fun – ‘queer midnight screaming’. The aim of curating content is to steadily encourage the viewers to discover new content.
The service will cost USD$6.99 monthly to people living in the 11 countries in Southeast Asia.