TBA Studios has acquired exclusive Philippine theatrical distribution rights to the lighthearted family drama “Ajoomma”, which will be released on March 15.
Directed by Singaporean filmmaker, He Shuming, his feature debut film tells the story of a middle-aged, Korean-drama-obsessed widow from Singapore who travels out of the country for the first time to Seoul, and ends up getting lost. Her journey becomes an unexpected road of self-discovery, as she comes to terms with the life she truly wants for herself, beyond her roles of daughter, wife, and mother.
He shared that the story is inspired by his own mother’s fascination with Korean dramas. “While the premise seems to be timely given the popularity of Korean pop culture sweeping through all of Asia and beyond, it merely serves as an undertone for the film, which is about a middle-aged Singaporean woman learning to navigate life beyond her duties as a mother, a housewife, and a caretaker,” the director added.
The film stars veteran Singaporean actress Hong Huifang as the titular ‘ajoomma’ (Korean for middle-aged ‘auntie’) and is supported by a cast of well-known South Korean actors like Kang Hyung Suk (“Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha”), senior actor Jung Dong Hwan (“Uncontrollably Fond”, “Hotel del Luna”), and Yeo Jin Goo of “Moon Embracing the Sun” and “Hotel del Luna” fame in a special guest role.
“Ajoomma” had its world premiere at the 27th Busan International Film Festival last October 2022. Since then, the film has racked up numerous awards and recognitions, including four nominations at the 59th Golden Horse Awards. It was also selected as Singapore’s entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards.
“Ajoomma” is produced by Cannes award-winning director Anthony Chen (“ILO ILO”) and has the distinction of being the first film to be co-produced between Singapore and South Korea. According to Chen, the film “reflects the unique way that Korean pop culture resonates with audiences across Asia and the world.”
TBA Studios’ President and COO Daphne Chiu share the same sentiment. “Filipinos are very passionate about Korean culture and media. We feel that audiences here especially women of all ages would be able to relate to this film. It’s a heartwarming story perfect for families.”
“Ajoomma” opens in Philippine cinemas on March 15.