Join CAAM at the Second Annual CINEMATOGRAFO FILM FESTIVAL 2018 November 8 – 11

Still from THE DEBUT
The festival highlights Filipino and Filipino American films and filmmakers.

CAAM is proud to partner with Cinematografo Film Festival, now in its second year. The festival highlights Filipino and Filipino American films and filmmakers.

We are co-presented four programs this year. Our Talent Development & Special Projects Manager Sapana Sakya will be a panelist at the festival about funding for filmmakers.

Special Anniversary Edition
Nov 10 Saturday 7.00PM AMC Kabuki

Cinematografo is proud to launch the 18th anniversary screening of THE DEBUT, the first known Filipino American feature drama produced in the U.S., as the Centerpiece presentation. Gene Cajayon’s seminal film 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.

Director Gene Cajayon, many cast, crew and supporters of the film 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. The film was opening night presentation at both CAAMFest (known as SF International Asian American Film Festival) and Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 18 years ago. Both CAAM and Visual Communications (being honored this year in a tribute) are co-presenters of the return of THE DEBUT. CAAM, then known as NAATA, was instrumental in co-producing, financing and launching the film to U.S. audiences.


November 11 Sunday 7.00PM AMC Kabuki
BITTER MELON is the story of a Filipino American family who reunites for a Christmas party at the family home in San Francisco only to find out that Troy (Patrick Epino), the second oldest child, has been ruling the house with fear — intimidating everyone who lives there — including his mother, and even physically abusing his wife. What starts as a fun holiday reunion turns into a darkly humorous crime scene as Declan (Jon Norman Schneider), the youngest son, leads the family as they conspire on how to best murder the violent and abusive Troy. The film made its world premiere at this year’s CAAMFest and made its way around the festival circuit all over the U.S.


Showcasing diverse, tender, painful stories within the Filipinx and Filipinx American communities around the world, these films provide intimate looks into Queer Filipino life and love at all stages.


Seven films from a variety of genres explore the daily lives of Filipino Americans and their personal experiences across evolving, modern, and often conflicted societies. Often hilarious, irreverent and occasionally heartbreaking, these gems hail from promising young storytellers, an emerging generation of Filipino-American talent not to be missed.