Canadian prodcos Pillango Productions and Aircraft Pictures, CBC Kids, and CBBC unveiled details about the new tween dramedy series, "Gangnam Project," set in the world of K-pop. The series is scheduled to debut in spring 2024. “This is such a vibrant, heart-warming story that also embraces many tween challenges and how to overcome them," Monica Levy, Co-Chief of Distribution, Federation Kids & Family, said. "Viewers will love the catchy music and rich choreography whilst being taken on a delightful adventure, and we can’t wait to shine a spotlight on this series during the TV market.”
"Gangnam Project" is executive produced by co-showrunners Sarah Haasz and Romeo Candido. Aircraft’s Anthony Leo and Andrew Rosen also Executive Produce, along with Cottonwood Media’s David Michel. The series is directed by Romeo Candido, Justin Wu, and Gloria Kim. For CBC, Sally Catto is the General Manager of entertainment, Factual, and Sports; Marie McCann is the Senior Director of children’s Content, CBC Kids; and Swin Chang is the Executive in Charge of the Development and Production of CBC Kids. Federation Kids & Family is handling worldwide sales and will be presenting the series to buyers at the upcoming MIP Junior & Mipcom markets.
The series recently wrapped production in Toronto and South Korea. Developed with CBC Kids and produced by Pillango Productions and Aircraft Pictures, series co-showrunners are Sarah Haasz (Circuit Breakers) and Romeo Candido (The Next Step). The series is being produced with the financial participation of Shaw Rocket Fund and the Canada Media Fund. For CBBC, Sarah Muller is Senior Head of Children’s Commissioning 7+, Aubrey Clarke is Commissioning Executive 7+, and Desiree Peeters is Assistant Commissioner – Submissions Lead 0-12.
“For over 30 years, I wanted to tell my story as a first-generation immigrant from Korea living in Canada who journeys to Korea to explore her roots and experiences an identity crisis both comically and dramatically- so it’s a joy to finally see this dream realized in Gangnam Project," Sarah Haasz, Founder of Pillango Productions, and creator of the series said.
A coming-of-age story, "Gangnam Project," is inspired by aspects of producer and founder of the title, Sarah Haasz’s personal life journey. Set in Korea, it tells the story of Hannah Shin (Julia Kim Caldwell) a spirited Canadian/Korean teen with dreams of becoming a K-pop star and connecting with her Korean heritage. One summer, she accepts a job as an English tutor and flies to South Korea to work at an elite K-pop training school and ends up getting much more than she bargained for. Hannah is tasked with tutoring one of the school’s top students, Chan-Mi, who is proving a little challenging.
In a bid to win her and the other students over, Hannah showcases her talent with some impromptu performances, but instead, her talents attract the attention of the school’s owner, which leads to the opportunity to become a student herself. Along with singing, dancing, and Korean lessons, there’s a lot of drama – Kdrama, especially when Hannah discovers that her father had once been a K-pop star himself! “Sarah’s personal story adds such authenticity to this project," Anthony Leo and Andrew Rosen, Co-Founders of Aircraft Pictures, said. "Together with Romeo, they bring passion and creativity to this production. It’s been a pleasure to work alongside them and our friends at CBC Kids, CBBC, and Federation Kids & Family.”
The series celebrates the world of K-pop featuring an original soundtrack composed by recording artist, songwriter, producer and musician, August Rigo, who has written songs for global talents including K-pop superstar group BTS (Black Swan and On, amassing over 1 billion views combined on YouTube), U Smile for Justin Bieber and Gotta Be You for One Direction.
“We knew right away that Gangnam Project, with its relatable coming-of-age teen drama set within the exciting world of K-pop music, is exactly what our audience is looking for," Marie McCann, Senior Director, Children’s Content, CBC Kids said. "It’s been such a great experience working with our partners on this amazing creative vision, and we can’t wait to share this groundbreaking series with kids and families across Canada.”
This is such a vibrant, heart-warming story that also embraces many tween challenges and how to overcome them. Viewers will love the catchy music and rich choreography, whilst being taken on a delightful adventure, and we can’t wait to shine a spotlight on this series during the TV market.” Monica Levy Co-Chief of Distribution, Federation Kids & Family