Coming up are 2 important films that are opening either this weekend or next.

Michael Moore's one of the most intelligent people out there, who happens to put together some really timely, disturbing, controversial, comic, relevant, and urgent films. His latest is, "Bowling for Columbine," and it's important that his movie get some good ratings in the opening week, since the actual run of his movie relies on the performance of opening shows in NY & CA. I will most definitely be showing my support this weekend.

The other is the NY opening of "The Debut," the Filipino-American movie that's gotten lots of buzz and publicity in the Filipino community. Some find it annoying, some really like it, but the plain truth is that if we don't support our Filipino filmmakers, we don't get out there.

So check it...


October 9, 2002


Dear friends, fans, and fellow evildoers:

I am very happy and excited to tell you that this Friday, October 11, my new film, "Bowling for Columbine," will open in New York and Los Angeles.

It is, I promise, the last thing the Bushies want projected on the movie screens across America this week. The film is, first and foremost, a devastating indictment of the violence that is done in our name for profit and power -- and no one, in all the advance screenings I have attended, has left the theatre with anything short of rage. I truly believe this film has the potential to rock the nation and get people energized to do something.

This is not good news for Junior and Company. Not when they are trying to drag us into another war. Not when a crazed sniper is exercising his constitutional right to own a high-powered rifle. Not when John Ashcroft is still prohibiting the FBI from looking through the gun background check files to see if any of the 19 hijackers or their associates purchased any weapons prior to 9/11 -- because THAT, we are told, would "violate" these terrorists' sacred Second Amendment rights!

Yes, I believe this movie can create a lot of havoc -- but I will need ALL of you to help me do this. Are you game?

Last February 5th, I wrote to tell you about a book I had written and how the publisher had decided to dump it because they were afraid to publish anything critical of Bush after 9/11. I appealed to you to save "Stupid White Men" from the shredder and to go out and buy it. I promised you would not regret it, and that the book would not only be a great read but an important organizing tool in gumming up the plans of George W. Bush.

Within 24 hours, the book went to #1 on the Amazon best seller list. By the fifth day, the book was already into its 9th printing. The publisher was torn between its desire to kill the book or make a wad of money. Greed won out, and this Sunday the book enters its 31st week on the New York Times best seller list -- and its 32nd printing. This is all because of you, my crazy and loyal friends. You made this happen, against all the odds.

Now I would like to ask you again to help me with my latest work, "Bowling for Columbine." It's a movie that many critics have already called my best film to date. They may be right. It is certainly the most provocative thing I have ever done. I have spent three years on it and, I have to say, it cuts deeper, harder and funnier that anything I have given you so far.

The movie opens this Friday in New York and Los Angeles, and then in 8 more cities next week. How it does in these first ten cities will determine whether or not the rest of the country gets to see it. That is the nutty way our films are released. If it doesn't have a big opening weekend, you can kiss the film good-bye. Therefore, this weekend, this film must be seen by millions of Americans. Can you help me make that happen?

"Bowling for Columbine" is not a film simply about guns or school shootings. That is only the starting point for my 2-hour journey into the dark soul of a country that is both victim and master of an enormous amount of violence, both at home and around the world. With this movie I have broadened my canvas to paint a portrait of our nation at the beginning of the 21st century, a nation that seems hell-bent on killing first and asking questions later. It is a movie about the state sponsored acts of violence and terrorism against our own poor, and how we have created a culture of fear that is based on the racial dilemma we continue to ignore. And it's a devastating comedy.

This film is going to upset some pretty big apple carts. No film has EVER said the things I am saying in "Bowling for Columbine." I expect to be attacked. I expect certain theatres will not show it for fear of retribution. I expect that this movie will be a bitter pill for many to swallow.

This is why I need your help. Movies live or die based on what happens at the box office the first weekend of its release. I need you, if you live in the New York or L.A. area, to go see "Bowling for Columbine" this Friday and Saturday -- and take as many family members and friends with you as possible. I guarantee you will not be disappointed -- and you may just see one of the best films of the year.

Monday night in Times Square, "Bowling for Columbine" had its premiere. The crowd was amazing, as it was this past Saturday night at the Chicago Film Festival. The audience kept laughing or hooting or applauding so loud throughout the film that it was hard to hear the next line.

The hate mail, the threats, the promises of retribution have already started to roll in to the distributor of this movie, United Artists. They are not backing down. But how long will this last? I need all of you in the New York tri-state and southern California areas to go see "Bowling for Columbine" THIS weekend -- the rest of you can see it in a couple of weeks when it comes to your town. A strong opening not only means that the rest of America will see this film, it means that a good number of people who see it are going to leave the film angry enough to get active and get involved. If it does poorly, I will have a difficult time finding the funding for the movie I want to make next -- a film about 9/11 and how Bush is using that tragic day as a cover for his right-wing agenda.

Don't let that happen. Don't let the NRA have one more success by stopping the wider distribution of this movie. And, together, let us not remain silent in our opposition to Bush's phony war against Iraq.

If you live in New York, you can see it at the Lincoln Plaza, the Sunshine and the Loews 19th St. In L.A., you can catch it at the Sunset 5, the Westwood Regent, Laemmle Sunset, Laemmle Towncenter (Encino), Landmark Rialto (Pasadena), and Regal University (Irvine). Also, please forward this to your other friends and tell them to go see "Bowling for Columbine" this weekend.

And finally, don't miss our new website www.bowlingforcolumbine.com

Thank you for your help with this. I feel so honored and privileged to have so many people interested in my work. Last January I was getting 70,000 hits a month on my website. Last month, I got 17 million hits. This alone speaks volumes about the vast majority all of us belong to who are sick and tired of what is going on and are longing for an alternative source of information.

I hope that you enjoy "Bowling for Columbine."

Thank you again...

Michael Moore



Dear "Debut" Supporter,

It's all set, New Yorkers! The award-winning Filipino American film finally arrives at the final stop in its historic self-distribution tour, THE BIG APPLE! Starting Friday, October 18, "the Debut" will play at:

42nd St. and 8th Ave. in Times Square, New York

At the Jersey Gardens Outlet Mall
Exit 13A off the New Jersey Turnpike
(908) 289-2004

Theaters in the Northern Tri-State area and Brooklyn/Queens area to be announced soon.

AMC Empire you say? Believe it! "the Debut" will get the chance to play at the #1 grossing movie theater in the Tri-State area. This is a perfect opportunity for our community to flex its clout as a moviegoing audience at one of the top 5 grossing movie theaters in the country. Both AMC and Loews Jersey Gardens will be playing a Filipino American film for the first time, so we need to come out and represent!

New York/New Jersey residents can now discover for themselves just what the big deal is over this award-winning film. You can soon experience the film at least FIVE screenings daily at regular ticket prices. Ticket information and showtimes will be announced soon so keep your eyes peeled to DebutFilm.com for all the latest developments!

Now, if you REALLY want to be part of this historic premiere...
Want a GUARANTEED seat on Opening Night 10/18? Want to take part of this historic extravaganza? Limited tickets are now on sale for the huge "Debut" New York Premiere Party and screening, sponsored by The Filipino Information Technology Group. It all happens at the prestigious AMC Empire 25 in Times Square. For ONLY $25, you get to attend the 6:30PM Premiere Reception at the AMC Empire, then stroll over to the primetime 8PM screening. Following the screening will be a Q&A session and autograph/photo session with director Gene Cajayon and actess Joy Bisco. Yes, JOY BISCO, star of "the Debut" and the ABC soap, "Port Charles"! Here's your only chance to meet one of the rising Filipina American actresses in the industry.

Tickets to this Premiere is limited to the first 230 guests! To purchase tickets, either e-mail fitgroup@yahoogroups.com with the subject line "I Wanna Buy NY Premiere Tickets" or call Romeo Ramos at (609)324-7565. For all Premiere Party information, please visit www.DebutFan.com/NYPremiere.

DEADLINE to purchase Premiere tickets are WEDNESDAY 10/16 at NOON.

These are the hottest tickets in town. Avoid standing in long lines and being shut out of sold-out screenings. Don't say we didn't warn you...

If you thought the BIG APPLE was going to treat "the Debut" just like any other film, you thought wrong! The community is representing with not just one, but TWO huge afterparties.

On Premiere Night 10/18, the Official NEW YORK "Debut" Afterparty happens at El Flamingo (547 West 21st Street between 11th Ave. and Westside NYC). Party with the entire "Debut"crew as we celebrate the final stop in our historic self-distribution tour. 21 and over only. 10PM-4AM. Maximum capacity expected. Bring your "Debut" movie stub for a special discounted admission. Sponsored by Benjapol & Koda. For more info, visit www.benjapol.com.

A week later 10/25, we celebrate New Jersey style at the Official NEW JERSEY "Debut" Afterparty in Club Rio (85 Lafayette Rd-Off of RT. 1 North, Woodbridge, NJ). All this to celebrate the New Jersey release of the award-winning Filipino American film! 10PM-3AM. 18 and over. 2 Floors of hip-hop. house. reggae. r&b. classics. Sponsored by Ryan'O'Neal Premieres, Elite Productions, Team ALPHA Racing, stonefoxCONCEPTS. Special thanks to Rongee, John Ryan, Deni D, Lindo.

Booking a theater in Queens/Brooklyn has been very difficult because of the limited number of theaters in the area and a glut of movies in release right now. We're doing our best to open a theater there by October 18th. In the meantime, one of our strongest candidates is the following theater:

Kew Gardens Cinemas
81-05 Lefferts Blvd at Austin St. in Queens, (718) 441-9835
Across the street from the Long Island Railroad Kew Gardens Station The newly remodeled Kew Gardens Cinemas are easily reachable via the E & F subway (Union Turnpike station), and the Q10 bus line. Free parking is available across the street at the Long Island Railroad Kew Gardens Station.

What do you think of this theater? It's a beautiful, newly renovated neighborhood theater that is centrally located for the entire Queens & Brooklyn area. If you would like to help us book the theater, please call the theater directly at (718) 441-3002 and tell the manager "I want 'the Debut' to play at Kew Gardens!" Please try to contact them by Tuesday, October 8.

Yes, "the little film that could" will play at least FIVE times a day on a WEEK BY WEEK basis. The Tri-State community determines how long the film lasts. If you have a choice of day, please watch the film on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Every Monday, the theater chains decides which films to keep based on weekend performances. Houston and Seattle lasted 5 weeks. In San Francisco, "the Debut" lasted a whopping 3 months! How long will the New York/New Jersey release last?

Spread the word. Forward this e-mail! Tell your friends! Tell your family! E-mail everyone you know! Please do not take this for granted. How often can you experience a Filipino American film in a huge multiplex?

Since we're in New York, we're going all out to make sure everyone knows what "the Debut" is all about! The entire "Debut" crew is planning to invade MTV TRL in Time Square this Friday, October 11 starting at 3PM. Imaginean entire army of "Debut" supporters holding signs and wearing shirts outside Times Square. We're calling all our supporters to help us show our pride! The more we have, the more visible we are! To join us, simply e-mail us at DebutCrew@hotmail.com
with your name and phone number. The first 20 people to apply will get a free "Debut" T-shirt at the MTV rally!

Despite all the success in the box office, "the Debut" has not received a decent home video deal. IT'S VERY IMPORTANT that if you want to ever rent "the Debut" in Blockbuster Video or purchase the DVD copy with commentary and deleted scenes, you MUST support and watch the film in THEATERS. That is the only way to convince the studios that our film is worth having on VHS and DVD. There are a lot of people out there who ARE NOT going to the theaters simply because they assume they can catch it on video later. If we fail to go to the theaters, there is a sad chance "the Debut" will never see the light of home video.

So let's continue to spread the word that this isn't just a movie, it's a
movement to ensure that more diverse films will be made.

"the Debut" has gained many proud and dedicated volunteers (and friends) in every city it has played in. Now we need volunteers to join our prestigious theater crew at each of our theaters, AMC Empire, Loews Jersey Gardens, as well as our yet to be announced Brooklyn/Queens theater and Northern Tri-State theater. Sell merchandise! Check tickets at the door! Work with the coolest co-workers around! 18 and over with own mode of transportation preferred. To apply, send an e-mail to theDebut@hotmail.com with the subject line: "I Wanna
Volunteer at (Name of Theater)" along with your contact number, reason for joining, and time and day(s) of availability. More priority will be given to those who LOVE "the Debut". Check DebutFan.com for a peek at our past volunteers and crew members. Hope to hear from you soon!

Pictures from our Seattle and Houston release are now up at DebutFan.com, the official web site for "Debut" fans and supporters. The site features a city-by-city and theater-by-theater picture gallery that you can browse through. Congrats to Christian of Seattle, WA for being our October fan of the month?

It's time to end this tour in GRAND NEW YORK STYLE!!!

Much love,
Patricio Ginelsa, Jr.
Associate Producer, "the Debut"

An award-winning English language film for the whole family, "the Debut" revolves around Ben Mercado (Danté Basco), a talented high school senior who has rejected his Filipino heritage. The long-simmering feud between Ben and his immigrant father Roland (Tirso Cruz III) threatens to boil over and ruin the 18th birthday party of Ben's sister Rose (Bernadette Balagtas). But to Ben's surprise, his sister's celebration challenges his sense of misplaced identity, and the way he regards his father and grandfather (Filipino film legend Eddie Garcia). In one night, Ben faces the true nature of his relationships with his family, his friends, and himself.

"As illuminating as it is entertaining ... a winner all around."
-Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

"A delightful coming-of-age film!"
-Kevin M. Williams, Chicago Tribune

"An impressive 'Debut'. It's great! THUMBS UP!"
-Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times


First Monday Program

As we don't need to tell you, the erosion of civil liberties has been one of the chief domestic byproducts of the war on terrorism.

On October 7, the First Monday program will stage grassroots events around the country bringing together students and community members to raise awareness of the importance of civil liberties and to discuss what can be done to ensure that they are safeguarded for the next generation.

First Monday is an organizing effort by the Alliance for Justice to bring attention to a critical public policy issue every year. The purpose of the campaign is to reach out to young people and mobilize them to become activists for change.

The Alliance for Justice produces a annual documentary film to coincide with the First Monday campaign theme. The new First Monday documentary, "Of Rights and Wrongs: The Threat to America's Freedoms," highlights individuals who have been affected by new laws and policies since September 11.

The film, also featuring Susan Sarandon, Howard Zinn, Roger Wilkins, David Cole and the music of Bruce Springsteen, will be shown at hundreds of events this Monday, October 7.

To find the closest First Monday event to you:

To order a copy of the film:

To find out more about the First Monday program:

To find out more about the Alliance for Justice, a national association of environmental, civil rights, mental health, women's, children's and
consumer advocacy organizations.:

And check out The Nation's special collection of articles on civil liberties since September 11:

Don't miss this opportunity to help stop the erosion of civil liberties.
Get involved with First Monday today.

Best Regards,
Peter Rothberg,
The Nation, Associate Publisher



STOP C.R.A.C.K.!!!

              "Don't Let a Pregnancy Ruin Your Drug Habit."
                           - C.R.A.C.K.

This statement comes from an advertisement used by an organization called C.R.A.C.K. or Project Prevention. 

C.R.A.C.K. is a private organization based in Southern California that uses a $200 cash "offer" to entice women and men with addictions into getting sterilized or taking long-term birth control. 

It has targeted poor communities of color across the country, and has begun targeting incarcerated women and men, a disproportionate number of whom are people of color. 

"We are steadily approaching 800 paid clients. We are currently contacting probation/parole departments, and jails throughout the US. So we expect those numbers to continue to rise!" (www.cashforbirthcontrol.com, 9/19/02) 


DATE:      OCTOBER 7,2002
TIME:     Assemble at 9:30AM (C.R.A.C.K.'s press conference starts at 10:00am)
        511 Lexington Ave (between 47th and 48th Streets)
       New York, NY 10017

FOR INFO:  write info@cwpe.org or call 413-559-5506

CRACK violates principles of human rights, civil rights, and reproductive freedoms because it:

* Attacks the reproductive capacity of women rather than the conditions of oppression under which poor women live. CRACK's approach is misguided because it does not acknowledge or confront the conditions of poverty, racism, violence and gender discrimination that give rise to harmful drug use practices among women.
* Targets communities of color and poor people.  CRACK promotes its program in low-income communities of color as evidenced by their placement of ads, billboards, and outreach activities, and by their emphasis on crack cocaine and not on other harmful substances, such as tobacco, which has a broader group of users. 
* Compromises birth control options.  CRACK only compensates for provider-controlled, long-term or permanent methods of birth control, which do not protect against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
* Impedes addiction treatment.  CRACK’s quick-fix approach focuses on stopping women with addiction problems from having children.  It detracts from solutions based on the real health care priorities of women and the need for access to drug treatment on demand. 
* Builds the false notion that "crack babies" are wasted lives.  CRACK ignores the evidence that the teratogenic effects of crack cocaine are not established scientifically and exaggerates the impact of prenatal exposure to crack cocaine.

More information on C.R.A.C.K. includ. articles and factsheets is available at

And a position paper on broader issues pregnant drug users face:


Organized by the Committee on Women, Population and the Environment & Sister Outsider