Asian Persuasion, Jhett Tolentino Directorial Debut, Starts Production (EXCLUSIVE)

Production is under way on “Asian Persuasion,” a feature film that marks the directorial debut of three-time Tony-Award and Grammy-winning producer Jhett Tolentino.

Set in New York, romantic comedy “Asian Persuasion” features a diverse, primarily Asian cast and seeks to elevate, inform and inspire the Asian narrative.

The story follows a down-on-his-luck chef who cooks up a crazy scheme to marry off his ex-wife in an attempt to avoid his substantial alimony obligations. With the help of his trusted wingman, the chef gets off to a hot start, but belatedly realizes he wants a second chance with his ex.

Asian Persuasion is produced under the Jhett Tolentino Productions banner with Tolentino and screenwriter Mike Ang serving as producers. Cinematography is by Andrea Walter (“The Fabulous Filipino Brothers,” “Empty By Design”) with production and costume design by Dedalus Moving Pictures’ Sheena Alexis (“Caretakers”). The music score is by Eunike Tanzil (“Be Somebody”) with casting by Bess Fifer.

“Asian Persuasion” is set for an early 2023 premier and release. But the film’s route to market is currently unknown. No sales agent, distributor or streaming partners has been disclosed.

The new film’s cast is headed by Dante Basco (“The Fabulous Filipino Brothers,” “Avatar: The Last Airbender”), Kevin Kreider (“Bling Empire”), Paolo Montalban (“The Girl Who Left Home,” “Mortal Kombat: Conquest”), Scarlett Sher (“Hustlers”), Celia Au (“Wu Assassins”), Geneva Carr (CBS’s “Bull”), and newcomer Jax Bacani.

Previously announced Philippine star, Toni Gonzaga left the production due to schedule conflicts. Another Philippine star KC Concepcion (“Boy Golden”) stepped in as lead actress.

Tolentino has produced 19 stage productions on and off Broadway, including “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” starring Sigourney Weaver; “A Raisin in the Sun,” with Denzel Washington. As a music producer, he oversaw the cast album recording of “The Color Purple,” featuring Cynthia Erivo, Jennifer Hudson and Danielle Brooks. His film production credits include “Life Is What You Make It,” in 2017 and Isabel Sandoval’s “Lingua Franca,” which premiered at the 2019 Venice Film Festival.

Black Eyed Peas’ Apl.de.Ap, Yam Concepcion (“Nightshift”), Janice Sonia Lee (“Emily the Criminal”), Ami Sheth (“Most Beautiful Island”), Rachel Alejandro (“Ang Larawan”), Fe Delos Reyes (“Lumpia with a Vengeance”), Joyce Keokham (“Denture Adventure”), comedian Rex Navarrete (“Badass Madapaka”), Imani Hanson (“An Angry Boy”), Devin Ilaw (“Virtue,” “The Annex”), and Tony Labrusca (“ML,” “Hello, Stranger: The Movie”) are among the other feature actors in the film.


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