Hello Ahma

Hallo Oma
Michelle can't attend her beloved grandma's funeral. All she has to say goodbye from a distance is a framed photo on the wall, with incense sticks and a bowl of grandma’s favourite chocolate under it. The 8-year-old girl carefully observes the way her parents deal with their grief. The way they pause to remember and carry on with their lives. Michelle tries to find her own way of coping. Could it be that her grandma has been reborn?
by Siyou Tan
with Sofie Yu Xuan Yang, Dawn Ying Yuen, Peter Boon Koh, Wu Mama, Squirtle
USA 2019 Mandarin, English, Taiwanese 16’ Colour recommendation: 5 years and up


  • Sofie Yu Xuan Yang (Michelle)
  • Dawn Ying Yuen (Mama)
  • Peter Boon Koh (Papa)
  • Wu Mama (Ahma)
  • Squirtle (Turtle Ahma)


Written and Directed by Siyou Tan
Cinematography Arlene Muller
Editing Benjamin Tolentino
Sound Design Nikola Medic
Sound Mixing Eric Han
Production Design Karu de Jesus Legrand
Costumes Coco-Margaux Rodale
Make-Up Gratia Arguelles
Assistant Director Whitney Shumaker
Casting Siyou Tan
Production Manager Vivian Ip
Producers Samantha Lee, Shincy Lu, Paul Fishback
Executive Producer Teck Sien Lau

Produced by

Poisonous Shrimp Productions

American Film Institute

Siyou Tan

Born in Singapore in 1988, the filmmaker lives and works in Los Angeles, USA. Her short film Hello Ahma, made during the 2018-19 Directing Workshop for Women at the American Film Institute, premiered in competition at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. She was recently selected as a fellow of the Busan International Film Festival’s Asian Film Academy and the Universal Directors Initiative. She is currently developing her debut feature film, Amoeba, which won the Most Promising Project award at the Southeast Asian Film Lab.

Filmography (short films)

2012 Max 2017 2200 Volts 2019 Hello Ahma

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020