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Singapore film Ajoomma screenings sell out at the Busan Film Festival ahead of its world premiere tonight

The movie written and directed by He Shuming and starring Hong Huifang premieres Friday night (Oct 7). What will the film festival's audiences think of it?

Singapore film Ajoomma screenings sell out at the Busan Film Festival ahead of its world premiere tonight

The Ajoomma contingent at Busan Film Festival: (from left) Kang Hyung-suk, Hong Huifang, He Shuming and Zheng Geping. (Photo: Busan International Film Festival)

The Busan International Film Festival 2022 is in full swing and from the looks of it, the folks behind Ajoomma are soaking it all in before the big event – the actual world official premiere of the movie on Friday night (Oct 7) at 7.30pm (6.30pm Singapore time).

Ahead of the big premiere, lead actress Hong Huifang, co-star Kang Hyung-suk, director He Shuming and Hong's husband, actor-producer Zheng Geping, walked the red carpet during the festival’s opening ceremony on Wednesday (Oct 5).

According to her director, Hong was “on Cloud Nine”. “When we walked the red carpet, we met the chairman of the festival who was super excited to see Huifang. He was like, ‘Where’s Ajoomma? I love her!” He told CNA Lifestyle.

Hong has been keeping those in Singapore updated with her Instagram posts, sharing photos and videos of her and the team at the festival opening and post-event party.

He shared with CNA Lifestyle that all three screenings of Ajoomma have been sold out. “People kept telling us they can’t get tickets. Usually there are last minute ones the day before.”

Ahead of the world premiere screenings at night, the Ajoomma contingent fielded questions from the press conference in the afternoon. 

When asked what the buzz from the media was like, he said: "So many of them, and so many questions! I don’t know if it’s the bubble I'm in but everyone seems super excited about the film."

The Ajoomma contingent at Busan Film Festival: (from left) Zheng Geping, Kang Hyung-suk, Hong Huifang and He Shuming. (Photo: Busan International Film Festival)

"I’ve had some very nice comments from peers who’ve seen the film. I’m looking forward to experiencing that energy with the audience tonight," he said, while admitting to being "very nervous."

"Last night when I checked the DCP (digital cinema package) of the film in the empty theatre I got quite overwhelmed. So I can’t imagine how it is tonight," he shared. But added: "To watch the film with an audience for the first time, all I can hope is for the audience to enjoy our labour of love."

Ajoomma, which is about a Korean drama-obsessed widow from Singapore who ends up getting lost in Korea, is in competition at the festival.

Produced by Golden Horse winner Anthony Chen, the directorial feature debut of He was also recently announced as Singapore’s Oscars entry for 2023.

It has also received four nominations at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards: Best Actress for Hong, Best New Director and Best Original Screenplay for He, and Best Supporting Actor for Jung Dong-hwan. The awards will take place on Nov 19.

Ajoomma will open in Singapore cinemas on Oct 27.

Source: CNA/mm