Asia’s first LGBTIQ-focussed streaming service, GagaOOLala, has launched in Australia after beginning in Taiwan.
The so-called “gay Netflix” of Asia launched in 2017 and arrived in Australia this month. Users can access to queer films, TV and docos from a wide range of countries, including a rom-com about a lesbian flight attendant and a steamy romance set in a gay spa.
The streaming service is run by Taiwanese company Portico Media, a co-founder of the Taiwan International Queer Film Festival.
“There was a lack of LGBTQ+ content available all year round in Taiwan and the rest of Asia,” CEO Jay Lin said of the service.
“A physical film festival happening during a few days was not the solution, we needed something 24/7.”
Lin said coronavirus lockdowns have isolated many in the LGBTIQ community and he hopes GagaOOLala provides “relief, distraction and entertainment”.
“The [LGBTIQ rights] situation in many Asian countries is still dire. In some of them, homosexuality is still considered a crime,” he said.
“We needed to provide easier access to LGBTQ+ stories to let them know they are not alone.”
GagaOOLala celebrating Taiwan’s one year anniversary of same-sex marriage
GagaOOLala’s worldwide expansion to over 190 countries also coincides with an important milestone for its home country.
Twelve months ago, Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage.
To celebrate, GagaOOLala is releasing a documentary on marriage equality, from the perspective of three same-sex couples from different generations.
Other highlights on the service include Taiwanese film “The Teacher,” which last year won actress Winnie Chang a Golden Horse Award, the local Oscars.
“Handsome Stewardess” is the first Singaporean series to star a lesbian couple. “Sodom’s Cat” was one of the first Asian films to depict a same-sex orgy.
GagaOOLala is now available to Australian users for a monthly fee through its website and iOS and Android apps.
However, viewers can also access a few dozen titles on the service for free during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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