The Debut


AMC Kabuki Sun, Nov 11, 2018 4:30 PM
Film Info
Category:Centerpiece Film
Director:Gene Cajayon
Screenwriter:Gene Cajayon
John Manal Castro
Cast:Dante Basco
Joy Bisco
Bernadette Balagtas
Tirso Cruz III
Gina Alajar


Before Crazy Rich Asians, there were Crazy Middle Class Asians. Eighteen years after Gene Cajayon’s seminal film made its world premiere, Cinematografo is proud to launch the 18th anniversary screening of THE DEBUT, the first known Filipino American feature drama produced in the U.S. THE DEBUT tells the story of teenager Ben Mercado (Dante Basco) who rejects his Filipino heritage. His contentious relationship with his immigrant father Roland comes to a head at his sister Rose’s 18th birthday party. In the span of one night, he comes to terms with his identity, heritage and what being a Filipino-American is all about. With a behind-the-scenes story as compelling as its story of family and relationships on screen, the film challenged Hollywood norms and representation before it became a buzzword. It singularly redefined not only Filipino-American cinema but the Filipino-American experience as a whole. Director Gene Cajayon and the cast are expected to attend. Preceding the program is a bonus screening of THE LITTLE FILM THAT COULD, a short documentary shot in 2001 that tracked the life of THE DEBUT as it toured on-the-road around the U.S.