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SK-II to Release Eight Original Films Via New Studio Division

The first film, "The Center Lane," follows Japanese swimmer Ikee Rikako.

SK-II is investing in original storytelling.

The company has formed SK-II Studio, a global film studio division and content hub, through which it will release eight original films this year. Based in Singapore, the division is made up of about 50 employees.

SK-II Studio’s first film, “The Center Lane,” will be released on March 29. Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, the film follows Japanese swimmer Ikee Rikako, who returned to competitive swimming last year after being diagnosed with leukemia in February 2019.

“At SK-II, we’ve always believed in storytelling and that’s been a core part of how we’ve been engaging with our target audiences across the world,” said Sandeep Seth, chief executive officer of Global SK-II.

SK-II has released a number of notable short film campaigns, such as its 2016 “Marriage Market Takeover,” which highlighted how unmarried women of a certain age are labeled as “leftover” in Chinese culture. The company’s #ChangeDestiny campaigns over the years also include “The Expiry Date,” “Meet Me Halfway” and its “Timelines” docuseries, created in partnership with Katie Couric.

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“All of these stories have been about the limitations that society has placed on women, forcing them to make choices that they don’t necessarily want to make,” Seth said. “We felt the need to make this brand purpose much more integral. Over the last year, across the world, a lot of unfortunate things have been said and done. We felt that SK-II needs to take a stronger stance and have a point of view and be that force for good.”

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Along with its studio, SK-II has set up a #ChangeDestiny fund, to which it will contribute $1 per view of its films. Total contributions will be capped at $500,000, with proceeds benefiting organizations with which SK-II has a relationship.

Asked for the company’s stance on the rise in global anti-Asian hate crimes since the onset of COVID-19, YoeGin Chang, SK-II Global’s senior brand director, said the company stands “for our Asian, Pan-Asian, Pacific Islander employees partners, friends and family.”

“The work that we’re doing with SK-II Studio, and also the work that we have been doing as a brand for the last seven years, since 2014, has always been around elevating stories [of] courageous women overcoming limitations and featuring Asian faces in our work,” Chang said. “We want to continue doing that and SK-II Studios is one definite way of doing that.”

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