Expats, the six-episode series starring Nicole Kidman set in Hong Kong, will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, which will take place from September 7-17.

The series revolves around an American woman, played by Kidman, and the Hong Kong expatriate community in which she lives. The pivotal event of the show comes when Kidman’s character takes her children out to a busy outdoor food market, after which the night takes a nightmarish turn.

The fifth episode of the series, titled Central, will be screened at the festival, and focuses on Filipino nannies and their tight-knit community in Hong Kong.

The series is adapted from the novel The Expatriates by Janice YK Lee, and is directed by Lulu Wang, known for the acclaimed film The Farewell.

Expats ran into controversy when Kidman was allowed to enter Hong Kong in August 2021 without undergoing the mandatory 21-day hotel quarantine period set by the government to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The actress instead had to take at least three Covid-19 tests during the first two weeks of her stay in the SAR, submit an itinerary of her work-related activities, travel only point-to-point, and not take public transport.

The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau revealed that Kidman had been given permission to carry out “designated professional work… conducive to maintaining the necessary operation and development of Hong Kong’s economy”.

Filming at the time took place at the famed Ladies Market in Mong Kok. Kidman then left the city after a reported fallout with Wang. There were reports that the actress returned to the SAR in October 2021 for additional filming, but the government refuted the claims.

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Header image credits: Toronto International Film Festival via Twitter

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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