Asian Persuasion: A Romantic Comedy

New York City, New York | Film Feature

Romantic Comedy, Comedy

Bethany Yeap

1 Campaigns | New York, United States

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This campaign raised $66,730 for post-production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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From 3-time Tony & Grammy Award winning producer, Jhett Tolentino & screenwriter, Mike Ang, comes a quintessentially New York love story told from the lens of the modern Asian American experience - a story that ditches the reliance on Asian tropes & stereotypes in favor of real story & character.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

FINALLY an Asian (-American) Rom-Com that's all about the Culture. We build true community when we celebrate the common ground that we share across all cultures and invite the world to sit and break bread at the same table. We are not as different as we seem and are far more similar than we realize.

The Story

(Photo(s): Bianca Catbagan)

Directed and Produced by 3-time Tony & Grammy Award-Winning Broadway Producer, Jhett Tolentino, in his directorial debut, 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.


Written by first-time screenwriter, Mike Ang, Asian Persuasion tackles the subject of divorce, exploring nonlinear romantic relationships and celebrating the cultures of the Asian American diaspora in a relatable and heartfelt way.


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.



As minorities, we understand how important it is to be the ones telling our own stories. Our team of over 400+ crew, cast, staff, vendors, collaborators, and investors is 90% women, Asian American, POC, and/or LGBTQIA+. In total, over 15 Asian nations are represented in this production; including, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, India, Hong Kong, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. 

We are grateful and blessed to have you along on this journey. There is more to come and much more work to be done.


We just wrapped principal photography last month on May 18, 2022. While we were filming, one of our main talent contracted Covid-19 and we had to pause production for 12 days, costing us $100k in production expenses that we did not have in the budget. The film is currently in post-production with an expected completion date of September 2022. 

We are asking for your help to recover the funds lost during our 1-week pause. While we are actively continuing to fundraise throughout the post-production period, we currently need $100,000 to supplement our ongoing private fundraising efforts to complete this movie.

We are partnering with our fiscal sponsor, Asian CineVision, and All donations are 100% Tax Deductible. 

We plan to premiere Asian Persuasion at a major film festival in early 2023, followed by a run on the international film festival circuit before a traditional release at movie theaters. We have already received interest from major streamers/studios for the distribution of the film, once it is completed.

With Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month just having completed last month, let's continue the momentum and make our voices count!

Dante Basco (Mickey) is an American film, television, and voice actor. He is best known for his groundbreaking role as Rufio, the leader of the Lost Boys in Steven Spielberg's Hook, and for his many voice acting roles, most notably as Prince Zuko from Nickelodeon's Avatar: The Last Airbender, Jake Long from Disney Channel's American Dragon: Jake Long, and Spin Kick from Carmen Sandiego.


KC Concepcion (Avery) is a Filipino actress, singer, dancer, TV host, entrepreneur, socialite and humanitarian. She has had lead roles in several Philippine films, including winning the Philippine's Best Actress FAMAS award in 2015 award. She has been dubbed the "Mega Daughter" and the Philippine Entertainment Sweetheart. She is also the first National Ambassador Against Hunger of the United Nations' World Food Program. She is also the new ambassador of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines.

Kevin Kreider (Caspian) is an actor and model whose career has spanned three continents and five countries since 2008. His many commercial credits include spots in China, USA and Thailand. Kevin is also an actor in five independent films, two stage productions and a documentary feature and is well known for his current feature role in the popular Netflix show, Bling Empire.


Paolo Montalban (Lee) is a Filipino-American actor and singer best known for his groundbreaking performance in the 1997 Disney television film, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella as Prince Christopher, opposite Brandy as Cinderella. He reprised that role in a stage version of the musical with Deborah Gibson and then Jamie-Lynn Sigler.


Scarlett Sherr (Sam) was born in Manhattan, New York. She is a young actress who made her film debut in Hustlers (2019) as Lily, the daughter of Destiny (Constance Wu). She plays Sam in the romantic comedy film Asian Persuasion (2023). Scarlett also made her Broadway debut in Waitress the Musical as Lulu in 2019.


Celia Au (Lisa) is a Hong Kong American actress and filmmaker. She has appeared in several movies and shows, including Nora from Queens, In a New York MinuteLodge 49, and her feature role in Netflix's Wu Assassins. She is a tireless advocate for Asian causes.


Geneva Carr (Helene) is an American television and stage actress with an extensive acting résumé. She is best known for her portrayal of Marissa Morgan on the CBS television series Bull and for her performance as Margery in the original Broadway cast of Hand to God, earning a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.


Jax Bacani (Jovi) is a newcomer to the screen. She is a respected restaurateur in New York City (owning Ihawan, the oldest Filipino restaurant in New York City) and has modeled for various print campaigns.


Tony Labrusca (Allen) is a Filipino-American actor, model, and singer based in the Philippines. Labrusca first gained his popularity via a McDonald's Philippines TV ad in 2016, Tuloy Pa Rin. In 2016, he joined the Philippine reality search Pinoy Boyband Superstar. He was part of horror-fantasy drama series La Luna Sangre. The trailer of his latest film, Glorious, reached more than 5 million views on its first day of release.

Yam Concepcion (Krystal) is a Filipina actress known for her role in the thriller, Rigodon, directed by Erik Matti. She rose to fame on the 2013 daytime television series Dugong Buhay.


joyce keokham (Arden) is a producer and actress, known for WYA WYD (Where You At? What You Doin?), New Touches, and Sugar.

Fe de los Reyes (Imelda) is a respected Filipina actress and comedienne, known for Too Young, Wooly Booly: Ang Classmate Kong Alien.

Devin Ilaw (Justin) is an actor who performed in Miss Saigon and Les Miserables on Broadway. Devin has been seen as Song Liling in M. Butterfly, Evan in Wearing Black, Lun Tha in The King & I, and Thuy in Miss Saigon (2010 Toronto Revival). 

Rex Navarette (Romy) is a veteran Filipino American comedian. He has performed in many colleges and universities all over the world as well as various comedy clubs and festivals, including headlining a sold-out performance at The Warfield in San Francisco as well as the Wiltern LG in Los Angeles. (Moviegoer 1) is a Filipino-American rapper, singer and record producer best known as a member of the hip hop group Black Eyed Peas.


Paul Aquino (Sushi Chef) Born in Manila, Paul Aquino completed a BFA with distinction at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. His work can be found in private and corporate collections throughout the United States and abroad, including Yazaki-Torres Corporation and e-storm International. 

Ami Sheth (Amisha) is an actor that has had major Film, TV and Print success in both the United States and India. She has acted in films including the recent SXSW Critics Choice Winning Film Last Beautiful Island and the TV Shows Dietland (AMC), Bull (CBS), Blue Bloods (CBS) and most recently was found on the Hit NBC TV show Blindspot as Chief FBI lab tech, Afreen (Seasons 3,4,5). 

Cyn Casasola (Receptionist) is a singer-songwriter and dancer. She is a proud member of Broadway Barkada, a collective of Filipino artists, and has performed alongside them at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and Alvin Ailey Studios. Cynthia is currently recording her debut solo album with Oscar Award Winning Sound Designer and Composer Frank Serafine.

Rachel Alejandro (Candace) is is a singer & actor. She is in the cast of Philippine TV series, The Broken Marriage Vow and appears next in the films Sinister Cover Up and Asian Persuasion in the US. She is known for her roles in Quezon's Game and The Portrait, both of which have been shown worldwide. 

Mairin Lee (Nadia) is a film and stage actress, known for Bull, FBI: Most Wanted, and Madam Secretary.

Calista Wu (CaliStar) is an American recording artist, activist, and award-winning attorney. As the founder of Cali Star Entertainment, LLC, she is redefining empowerment through music, entertainment, tech, and community. She has been featured in Rolling Stone India, Vents Magazine, Music Connection Magazine, Mochi Magazine, and more.


Janice Sonia Lee (Qing Shan) Born and raised in Northern California, Janice Sonia Lee has enjoyed work on screen in the features Emily the Criminal (premiered recently at Sundance in 2022), Where We Begin and The Devil Has a Name. Earlier, she appeared on the series For the People and Maria of the Lu, the spinoff of the 2013 Creative Arts Emmy award-winning series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Imani Hanson (Dennis) is a 13-year-old talented actor born in New York. He is intelligent, social, eager to learn, and learns very quickly. His hobbies: are coding, making complex origami, playing piano/viola. His passion is electrical engineering. 

Marc delaCruz (Romy) is the first Asian-American to portray Alexander Hamilton on Broadway's mega-hit, Hamilton

Renee Rogoff (Tracy) is an alumnus of The Lee Strasberg Studio, Stella Adler, Repertory Philippines, and American Academy of the Dramatic Arts. Her appearances include Hannah in When We Were Young and Unafraid (CMTC), Ellen/Mrs. Saunders/Lin in Cloud 9 (CMTC), The Voice in Ways To Leave a Body (Cutting Ball Theater), Alice Paul in Strange Ladies (Central Works), Josie in Eugene O'Neil's A Moon for the Misbegotten (Roustabout Theater Co.), Tituba in Witch Hunt (Those Women Productions) and has performed with Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC and is a standup comedian at Gotham Comedy Club and Broadway Comedy Club. 

Nacho Tambunting (Cashier) is an actor, singer, dancer and artist. He originated the role of Felix Starro Junior in Ma-Yi Theater Company’s Felix Starro, the first Filipino-American Musical to premiere Off-Broadway (Theatre Row). Previously Nacho was seen recurring on NBC’s Rise as Francis Russo.

Hunter Arcenal (Pizza Kid) is a Bay Area Native, born and raised in San Francisco, California. He's a child actor, model, voice-over artist, and music producer. Aside from acting he enjoys golf, baseball, making music, skateboarding, and hanging with friends. 

Help us spread the word! Even a share on social media means a lot to us. You can use our social media toolkit, linked here. Don't forget to tag us on Instagram @asianpersuasionfilm so we can say thank you!

Our film continues to receive noteworthy press coverage, and several press articles and videos are included  in the links below:


MYX Global

Tatler Asia


The FilAm

The Diaspora Times

Screen Daily



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About This Team


Jhett Tolentino (Director/Producer) is a Filipino entertainment director and producer based in NYC, known for being the second Philippine-born recipient of the Tony Award. He has won three Tony Awards since his Broadway debut in 2013 and earned his first Grammy Award in 2017 (The Color Purple: New Broadway Cast Recording). He was awarded the Pamana ng Pilipino Award by Malacañang for his non-profit and non-commercial work, and for becoming the first Filipino citizen to win both Tony and Grammy awards.

Mike Ang (Screenwriter/Producer) is a lifestyle and entertainment entrepreneur. He was born into a Chinese-Filipino family in Manila and was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. 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 is a Managing Partner at Planet X, an international multimedia production and branding agency with studios in Brooklyn, NY.

Andrea A. Walter (Director of Photography) is a British Filipino writer, director and director of photography from the UK and Philippines. After a decade of working in the concert industry she transitioned to narrative films with Empty by Design (2019, LAAPFF, CAAMFest) which she wrote, directed and shot. Afterwards she served as the director of photography on Dante Basco’s directorial debut, The Fabulous Filipino Brothers (2021, SXSW). Currently she is attached to direct The Girl from Saint Malo (2023). 

Mathew Lai (Associate Producer) is a Taiwanese-American NYC based director/writer/sound designer from Houston, Texas. He has sound edited for Dustlight Productions, the studio behind shows like The Michelle Obama Show and Renegades starring Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen. He has also directed and written many short films that have won multiple accolades over the years

joyce keokham (Line Producer) is an actor, writer, director, producer, and poet best described as a storyteller based on earth. They enjoy actualizing stories rooted in truth, community, and radical self-love. Their mom once described them as a messenger of love; joyce hopes to live up to this. Their work can be found at and on ig @fuqr

Kayla Wong (Unit Production Manager) is a Seattle-raised, New York-based Producer and Assistant Director. Since 2018, she’s directed the Asian American International Film Festival, the nation’s first and longest-running festival dedicated to showcasing Asian and Asian diaspora cinema. Previously, she’s worked at NBCUniversal, WNET New York Public Media, and Sesame Workshop. 

Sheena Alexis Suarez (Production and Costume Design) is the co-founder of Dedalus Moving Pictures. She produced the four-time Daytime Emmy nominated King Ester and PBS’ GLAAD Award nominated Caretakers. Sheena is passionately focused on producing stories that uplift underrepresented communities and create a brighter and more inclusive world for everyone, but especially her daughter.

Aacharee Ungsriwong [Ohm] (Editor)is a Thai film editor based in NYC. Having gotten her start as an Assistant Editor for Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Ohm has been editing for over a decade. Her films have screened at international film festivals including Sundance, Berlin, Toronto.

Eunike Tanzil (Film Score) is a composer for concert music and films from Indonesia. She recently wrote the music for Martial Cultivation Biography and Becoming Famous, alongside Chinese film composer, Bjorn Shen. Eunike also worked with film composer Jeff Danna, assisting him as the score coordinator for The Addams Family 2. In 2021, Eunike received the Susan W. Rose Graduate Fellowship to pursue her masters at The Juilliard School, under the mentorship of Grammy, Pulitzer, and Oscar-winning composer John Corigliano.

Louie Wang-Holborn (Location Manager) is founder and owner of the production company Bu Lou Lun, focusing on producing commercial content for fashion, beauty, and lifestyle clients, documentaries, web series, and advertisements.

Dolmar Pedro (Sound Mixer) is a warm hearted individual from the Caribbean Sea following the sound journey wherever it may lead, always trying to bring the island warmth to the craft and the set. Considers himself not just a technician working his craft in the sound department, but a filmmaker, collaborator who strives to brings visions and imagination to life through their many vibrations. 

Louanna Factora (Hair and Makeup) is currently the Head of Hair and Makeup at Amazon Live. In addition, she works for Fox Sports, Fox News, Comedy Central, BET, L’Oreal and WeTV to name a few. She is also a busy mother of 3, but believes that “when you love what you do, you don’t work a day in your life.”

Anthony Santos (Art Director) is a bi-coastal filmmaker specializing in the development and production of music videos and narrative content. Past music videos include collaborations with companies NYLA, Boy in the Castle and Dreambear for Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, and many more! He has also worked on films such as Sara Colangelo’s Worth, Aaron Sorkin’s political feature, The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Victoria W. Hsu (Executive Producer) is currently a Director of the Board and Secretary of the J.T. Tai & Co. Foundation.  She also serves as Board Secretary of the J. T. Tai & Co. Inc.  Victoria is a Trustee of the Board of the Eisenhower Fellowship, a Special Advisory Council Member of Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles and Founding Member of the recent successful #GoldOpen movement ( that has introduced education to mass audiences through projects on the big screen starring, written, and directed by many Asian Americans and others of diversified backgrounds. 


Jona Jane Tajonera (Executive Producer) is a Filipino American doctor and businesswoman in New York.  President of J3 Marketing and Productions Incorporated, a multimedia company.  Chief Executive Officer of US Mobile Care Group, a multispecialty clinic and medical supply. CEO of Mindoro Healthcare Consulting, a nationwide healthcare consultancy.  And COO of US Medical Support, a full service medical billing solution.


Current Team