6.6/10
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33 user 19 critic

The Debut (2000)

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The story revolves around Ben Mercado, a talented high school senior who has rejected his Filipino heritage. The long-simmering feud between Ben and his immigrant father Roland threatens to... See full summary »

Director:

Gene Cajayon
4 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dante Basco ... Ben Mercado (as Danté Basco)
Jayson Schaal Jayson Schaal ... Doug
Brian Card Brian Card ... Dave
Mindy Spence Mindy Spence ... Jennifer
Nicole Hawkyard ... Susie
Brandon Martinez Brandon Martinez ... Rick
Ernie Zarate Ernie Zarate ... Tito Lenny
Gina Alajar ... Gina Mercado
Emelita Moll Emelita Moll ... Tita Connie
Gina Honda Gina Honda ... Tita Florie
Tirso Cruz III ... Roland Mercado
Bernadette Balagtas ... Rose Mercado
Rawlins Apilado Rawlins Apilado ... Jun
Derek Basco ... Edwin Mercado
Joy Bisco ... Annabelle Manalo
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Storyline

The story revolves around Ben Mercado, a talented high school senior who has rejected his Filipino heritage. The long-simmering feud between Ben and his immigrant father Roland threatens to boil over and ruin the 18th birthday party of Ben's sister Rose. But to Ben's surprise, his sister's celebration challenges his sense of misplaced identity, and the way he regards his father and grandfather. In one night, Ben faces the true nature of his relationships with his family, his friends, and himself. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One night can change a lifetime.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Gene Cajayon

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Tagalog | Filipino

Release Date:

13 August 2003 (Philippines) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mercado Family Debut See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,784, 15 March 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,743,570, 10 November 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was never picked up by a major distribution company. Instead, the producers organized a grass roots effort to self-distribute the film. Three years passed between initial principal photography to opening, and another three to have the film travel and screened across the United States. A total of six years before the film made it to DVD and home video. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Slanted Screen (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
decent & worth watching for a first effort
12 May 2002 | by vanrosssSee all my reviews

A young Filipino American man is the families touted trophy child as they believe him to be going to college for pre-med. His sister & some of his friends know that he wants to be a student of art. The sister is making her formal debut/birthday party where all the family and friends gather to celebrate. The conflicts with in the younger generation, with in the older generation raised in Filipino culture, and the conflicts of expectations of both generations erupt at the Debut.

Wry humor through out keeps a light mood even though there are some darker and more intense moments. Although this is the director's first work and there are some problems, the over all effect is good. The framework of Ben's life is developed enough for the audience to understand his motivations. The parents are well acted, and their development is mostly left to the pretense of the audiences own experiences in a successful manner. The appreciation of their parents culture is subtly developed by some characters while others are too self involved to see the world around them.

Many famous Filipino actors are featured in this work, and it marks the first time that all four Basco brothers have appeared together. The very diverse music put to use in this film was primarily from Filipino musicians, and it is well suited to the story. This film is playing in very few locations which are listed at the official site. It may or may not make it to video.


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