Just recently, the government has eased lockdown restrictions for most regions in the country. Starting June 1, Metro Manila and nearby provinces will be transitioning to a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ). But despite this, some people still opt to stay home to combat the possible second and third wave of COVID-19.
So while staying at home, why not indulge yourself in movies that reflect the realities of life? Take a break from sugar-coated plots and discover real stories through Filipino indie films that are sure to open your minds. (READ: CCP premieres ‘Encantada,’ ‘Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal’ on YouTube)
Just recently, Netflix has partnered with local studios Viva, ERJ Found Films, Black Cap Pictures, and Changhe Films to bring you five Filipino movies that will surely capture your interest. Ranging from a wide variety of genres from horror, comedy, to drama, these locally-produced films have been widely acknowledged in the international scene for their creative storytelling and eye-opening narratives.
“We are constantly amazed by the creativity of storytellers and the quality of talent coming out of the Philippines,” said Raphael Phang, manager of content acquisition at Netflix. “Filipinos are avid entertainment fans, so at Netflix, we are committed to bringing the best stories locally and from around the world to our members here.”
Here are the five Filipino films that will make their Netflix premiere in June:
Synopsis: Inspired by a 1958 Roman Polanski short, Pinoy Sunday follows the story of two Filipino immigrants in Taipei—Manuel (Jeffrey Quizon) and Dado (Bayani Agbayani)—during their day off from work, when the chance discovery of a discarded couch leads to an adventure.
Director: Widing Ho
Cast: Bayani Agbayani, Jeffrey Quizon, Nor Domingo, Dave Ronald Chang, Meryll Soriano, Alessandra de Rossi
Release date: June 5, 2020
Statement from the Director: “I never thought the feature debut I made ten years ago can have a second life and finally get shown to the Philippine audience, thanks to Netflix. It is a tremendous honor to have my second movie after ‘Cities of Last Things’ to be included on a platform that has done so much to promote filmmakers’ works from around the world to a global audience. I am lucky to be part of the family,” Director Widing Ho said.
Synopsis: As the medical expenses for her daughter stack up, a mother (Carmina Villarroel) takes a demanding call center job where the building’s sinister secrets begin to haunt her.
Director: Carlo Ledesma
Cast: Carmina Villarroel, Mylene Dizon, JC Santos, Kate Alejandrino, Krystal Brimner, Rhed Bustamante, Susan Africa
Release date: June 14, 2020
Statement from the Director: “Having Sunod screen theatrically during the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival was an incredible experience, and now I’m excited for the film to find a new audience online, especially on Netflix, which has the best streaming. Speaking on behalf of myself and my crew, we took great pains to make the movie look and sound good, so it’ll be a rush to see it stream in high quality,” Director Ledesma said.
Synopsis: An elderly woman finds her life disrupted when her family and village realize she has a chance at a world record for being the oldest grandmother alive. (Lola Igna was awarded Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Musical Score and Best Actress at the 2019 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino Awards Night)
Director: Eduardo W. Roy Jr.
Cast: Angie Ferro, Yves Flores, Meryll Soriano, Maria Isabel Lopez, Royce Cabrera, Jojo Riguerra, Armando A. Reyes
Release date: June 18, 2020
Statement from the Director: “I felt flabbergasted when I got the news from Netflix that the team loved my film, not just one, but two of my films. I’m personally thankful to Netflix for introducing ‘Lola Igna’ and ‘Ordinary People’, to a larger audience, not only in the Philippines but to the whole world. Now my films can be easily accessible anytime, and anywhere around the world,” Director Eduardo Roy said.
Synopsis: Untrue narrates the story of Mara (Christine Reyes), A Filipina woman who moves to the country of Georgia, where she meets a mysterious man, Joachim (Xian Lim). They develop feelings for one another until Joachim claims to hear peculiar sounds and see visions of a strange woman.
Director: Sigrid Andrea Bernardo
Cast: Cristine Reyes, Xian Lim
Release date: June 22, 2020
ORDINARY PEOPLE (Pamilya Ordinaryo)
Synopsis: Barely making a living as pickpockets, a teenage couple in Manila resort to desperate measures when their one-month-old child is kidnapped. (Pamilya Ordinaryo was awarded Best Film, Best Editing, Best Actress, Best Director at the 12th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, as well as Best Actress at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and FAP Awards)
Director: Eduardo W. Roy Jr.
Cast: Ronwaldo Martin, Hasmine Kilip, Maria Isabel Lopez, Sue Prado, Ruby Ruiz, Raymon Lee, Karl Medina, Erlina Villalobos, Menggie Cobrarrubias
Release date: To be announced