You may know Dante Basco for voicing the hot-headed firebending master Prince Zuko of the Fire Nation kingdom. You might also know him as Rufio, the leader of the Lost Boys in Steven Spielberg’s 1991 film “Hook.” You might even know him for starring in the very first Filipino American film to be theatrically released, “The Debut,” back in 2001.
But what you might not know is that Dante just had his directorial debut with a film that proudly showcases his Filipino roots.
The film, titled “The Fabulous Filipino Brothers,” premiered at the SXSW 2021 Festival last March and again at the ongoing CAAMFest 2021 this May and follows the story of four brothers attending a wedding celebration of their extended Filipino-American family in Pittsburg, California, and the hilarious and heart-wrenching things that happened to each of them prior to the event.
“These fabulous Filipino brothers know each other better than anyone else but they couldn’t be more different,” the trailer says. “When culture defines you and love finds you, your family binds you.”
It stars Dante himself and his real-life brothers, Derek, Darion, and Dionysio, all of whom also have acting credits in Hollywood. Dante also recruited his sister, Arianna, to be his co-writer and the narrator of the film and their parents, Darius and Aida, to play versions of themselves.
Was it difficult for Dante to create this movie with his entire family involved? Perhaps and perhaps not. Either way, Dante was able to utilize the strengths and weaknesses of each member in order to produce the best outcome. “I’ve seen every single performance all these guys have done their whole life — all the great stuff they’ve done, all the bad stuff they’ve done — so I know how to get what I want from what they were doing in every moment, and vice versa,” Basco said to Datebook. “The great thing about it was they trusted me.”
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“The Fabulous Filipino Brothers” does its best to share the unique culture of the Philippines while making audiences laugh with our Pinoy-branded humor and, at the same time, tug everyone’s heartstrings with emotionally moving scenes. We can only hope for now that it’ll be made available to watch online soon but you can watch the trailer for it in the meantime!
The movie also stars Solenn Heussaff and Liza Lapira. Filipino-American singer-songwriter AJ Rafael provided the music.
What are your thoughts on this movie? Let us know in the comments below!
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