6.5/10
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33 user 19 critic

The Debut (2000)

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2:06 | Trailer

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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 ... 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

Gross USA:

$1,743,570
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bernadette Balagtas (Rose Mercado) had injured her ankle while basketball training for the movie. She had to wear an ankle brace throughout the entire filming schedule. The brace had to be digitally removed in one of the major dance sequences where her ankle is prominently featured. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Slanted Screen (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Step in Recognition for Filipino Americans and other Second Generation Minorities
27 November 2012 | by iheranaSee all my reviews

For someone who went to auditions where the casting directors never heard of Filipinos, Dante Basco surely was excited to represent his fellow Filipino-Americans in this film. The Debut was a cause for excitement in Fil-Am circles, especially among the youth who had entertainment for Filipinos and entertainment for Americans but never entertainment for their generation as Filipino Americans.

At times the movie is simplistic with its moral messages about growing up caught in between cultures, but often the director/writer subtly weaves in tales of internalized oppression, shadism, Filipino classism, and interracial relationships.

Despite occasional cheeziness, this movie may be one of the most important to watch for a Filipino American or any multi-cultural westener.

Besides its cultural value, the extra features reveal the very essence of independent film. The tenacity of the the crew and volunteers attests to the hard-working spirit of independent filmmakers and Filipinos.


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