“I love this film because this is about women empowerment. Bagung-bago ang concept,” producer Jhett Tolentino expressed pride as he introduced his upcoming film project Asian Persuasion to the media last August 23. Beside him was Filipina actress, entrepreneur, and showbiz royalty KC Concepcion. KC took on the lead role for this international project and she came home to the Philippines to promote it.

“Hindi ko po inexpect talaga na I will be doing my first international film, American film at that. I have Jhett to thank for browsing through my Instagram and seeing my kakikayan, for seeing my reel, and thinking of me for the role of Avery,” KC shared. “I really believe in destiny. There are certain things that are for us, whether in relationships or work, in projects. I’ve waited long enough. My last TV appearance was Binibining Pilipinas 2016, the year after Pia Wurtzbach won.”

KC detailed how she took a step back from the limelight and focused on her jewelry business. Eventually, she said, KC came back as she felt the longing to perform once again. “For some reason, the year for me is 2023 to do some kind of comeback, to get back onscreen. I could not have chosen a better project than this movie,” she said. “It was a very happy experience po.”

KC and Jhett will soon be back in the Philippines for the movie’s local premiere.

About the movie

Asian Persuasion is the outlandish story of a down-on-his-luck chef, Mickey de Los Santos, who cooks up a crazy scheme to marry off his ex-wife, Avery Chua, by setting her up with a fake internet dating profile in an attempt to find her a suitor to re-marry in order to avoid his substantial alimony obligations. With the help of his trusted wingman, Mickey gets off to a hot start – until he realizes he wants a second chance with Avery. He might be too late.

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At its core, this film is a loving homage to the wonderful phenomenon that is New York City – celebrating some of its most iconic landmarks and highlighting some of its lesser-known, less frequented cultural enclaves. For those of us who love this amazing town, we know all too well the unexpected magic that can only happen here.

Asian Persuasion was shot in New York City in Spring 2022. It prioritized hiring Asians, female department heads, LGBTQIA+ crew and filmmakers. In total, 21 Asian countries were represented in this production: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia Israel, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, and Vietnam.

The film will have its World Premiere at the SOHO International Film Festival in New York City on September 16th & 17th. It will be theatrically released in the Philippines nationwide on November 29, 2023. Mike Ang wrote the screenplay while Tony and Grammy winner Jhett Tolentino had his feature directorial debut in this film with a budget of US$2M.

Key people involved

JHETT TOLENTINO (Director/Producer) has a decade experience in commercial producing. Since 2012, he produced 13 Broadway and 5 Off-Broadway shows in 7 years, winning 3 Tony Awards and a Grammy.

In 2018, filmmaking captured his interest after wrapping his auto-biographical short documentary Life is What You Make It. The following year, he produced Lingua Franca which premiered at the 76th Venice Film Festival. He just recently concluded his feature directorial debut in Asian Persuasion.

Jhett is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the University of Iloilo under the scholarship grant of Meguko Society of Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. He has been based in New York City since 2004.

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MIKE ANG (Writer/Producer) is an Asian American lifestyle and entertainment entrepreneur. Born into a Chinese-Filipino family in Manila and was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. An engineer by trade, he spent much of his life traveling back and forth to the Philippines for vacations and then, later, business, These formative experiences instilled in him a true love of the Filipino culture at an early age and a unique perspective of “being Filipino” from the lens of the American experience.

Through his various business endeavors, Mike is a tireless advocate of advancing culture and creating greater opportunities for both women and minorities, particularly in the creative industries. Mike currently resides in the New York area and is a Managing Partner at Planet X, an international multimedia production and product marketing agency with studios in Brooklyn, NY.


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