Filipino Indie Movies You Have To See
Satisfy your indie craving
Filipinos love to watch movies. And while the Hollywood blockbusters take up the most rooms in cinema houses, there’s no denying that there’s been an influx of local indie films in recent years, too. Fortunately, our Filipino filmmakers have made it a point to produce some better quality films that hit audiences exactly where they need to be hit.
Here's a list of 10 independent movies worth watching:
Ang Pagdadalaga Ni Maximo Oliveros
The Blossoming Of Maximo Oliveros, 2005
This film by Auraeus Solito addresses the journey to adulthood of a not-so-typical gay child who is living in a world of complete disarray. The story revolves around Maxi’s (Nathan Lopez) struggle towards his love for a handsome police officer, Victor (JR Valentin, and his family’s illegal livelihood.
Flor (Gina Pereño) plays the role of the matriarch of a family who owns a shabby theater that screens adult films for income. The theater also serves as a home to Flor's dysfunctional family.
Serbis, starring Coco Martin and Mercedes Cabral among others, was the PH's an entry to the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008.
Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank
The Woman In The Septic Tank, 2011
Comedian Eugene Domingo stars as herself in the movie Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank, which portrays a hilarious parody of filmmakers in the process of creating an award-winning film. Its director, Marion Rivera, features discussions between his main characters, onscreen filmmakers Ranier (Kean Cipriano) and Bingbong (JM De Guzman).
Meanwile the movie’s second installment, Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank 2 (2016) was made to address the changes in the industry’s landscape. While the first focused on highlighting poverty, the sequel targeted romance.
The Bit Player, 2013
To all aspiring celebrities out there, this one is for you. This film by Jeffrey Jeturian will inspire and surely ignite your dreams of becoming the next big thing. The drama-comedy focuses on the life of Loida Malabanan (Vilma Santos), a bit player who spends most of her days daydreaming about her big break. The lesson the movie wants us all to learn? Self-identification.
Metro Manila is a British-Filipino collaboration directed by Sean Ellis. The movie, which has themes of drama and suspense, revolves around the life of rice farmer Oscar (Jake Macapagal).
Oscar brought his young family to Manila in search for work and food. But as he befriends a senior officer (John Arcilla) their story turns into an unexpected crime thriller instead.
Digitab, directed by Giancarlo Abrahan V, is a story of two professors, Jimmy (Nonie Buencamino) and Issey Tolentino (Eula Valdez), and the challenges they go through as a childless and middle-aged couple.
The film truthfully sheds light on the realities of marriage and the choices we make to keep feelings of bitterness and longing at bay.
Director Milo Sugueco, tells the bittersweet story of Imelda (Mylene Dizon), who is indifferent towards shoes in Mariquina. But who knew the task of finding the perfect shoes for her deceased father would leave her feeling fulfilled?
General Luna, 2015
“Bayan o sarili—pumili ka!”
The historical Filipino biopic directed by Jerrold Terog is known for its patriotic portrayal of General Antonio Luna’s (John Arcilla) leadership during the Philippine-American War.
Chosen as the country’s entry for the 2016 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film category, this film states “bigger truths about the Filipino nation” that can be interpreted by mixing reality and fiction.
Ever since Sally (Rhian Ramos) rescued him from the school bully, Marty (Enzo Marcos) has been head-over-heels in love with her.
Saving Sally is a film that speaks about love and our uncanny ability to make it so complicated sometimes.
Sunday Beauty Queen
Trivia: Sunday Beauty Queen took four years to finish, was produced by the same people who worked on Heneral Luna and is the first documentary to ever make it to the Metro Manila Film Fest—from which it bagged Best Picture no less.
Watch it for yourself and you'll understand why.