Cinema One Originals has recently dropped five independent films to watch for FREE from November 4 to December 16 on Youtube. The set of movies covers a wide range of genres, including thriller, action, and drama, and tackles pressing and compelling social issues.
We have been under community quarantine for eight months now and we know that many of the Filipino cinephiles out there are already running out of things to watch. Well, thanks to Cinema One Originals because finally, you can add these five independent films to your films-to-watch-this-quarantine list.
Check out these five local films to learn more about the beauty of independent cinema and be amazed at the exceptional talents of our Filipino filmmakers and actors.
1. Senior Year (2010) (November 4 – December 1)
Director: Jerrold Tarog
A high school movie featuring a mix of real students and professional actors that deals with the experience of finding one’s identity in a country that barely has one.
This coming-of-age film was directed, written, edited, mixed, and scored by Tarog. It featured real high school students and professional actors like Che Ramos, LJ Moreno, RJ Ledesma, and Ina Feleo. The film was nominated at the 2011 Golden Screen Awards (6 nominations), 2010 Metro Manila Film Festival (for Best Indie Film), and 2011 Star Awards for Movies, where it bagged the Original Screenplay of the Year and Musical Scorer of the Year. It also competed at Hongkong International Film Festival in 2011 and SoHo International Film Festival in 2012. “Faculty,” a short film prequel to Senior Year, was also directed by Tarog.
2. Catnip (2012) (November 11 – December 16)
Director: Kevin Dayrit
Two friends with very different personalities lean on each other to make it through the day.
Starring Lauren Young, Maxine Magalona, and Rommel Luna, this intimate, hyperactive friendship flick won 4 major awards at the 2012 Cinema One Originals Digital Film Festival: Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Music. It also competed at the highly prestigious New York Asian Film Festival in 2013.
3. Mariposa sa Hawla ng Gabi (2012) (November 11 – December 16)
Director: Richard Somes
A farm girl’s attempt to take her sister back to the province, unravels the horrors of the big city.
The psycho-thriller film features Erich Gonzalez, Alfred Vargas, Maria Isabel Lopez, and Mark Gil. The film won the Best Production Design at the 2012 Cinema One Originals Digital Film Festival and competed at the prestigious 2013 Far Eastern Film Festival in Udine, Italy.
4. Otso (2013) (November 18 – December 8)
Director: Elwood Perez
Hoping to reconnect with his roots by returning back to Manila, Lex writes a screenplay for an indie film based on the secret lives of his neighbors next door. Facts and his own artistic infusions all clash together as he discovers that reinterpreting real life isn’t always a good thing.
The film starred Monique Azerreda, Vince Tañada, Anita Linda and Jun Urbano. It won the New Movie Actor of the Year for Tañada at the 2014 Star Awards for Movies. The film was also screened at the 38th Hongkong International Film Festival.
5. Esoterika: Maynila (2014) (November 18 – December 8)
Director: Elwood Perez
Frustrated with his station in life as a lowly cook boy in a Chinese restaurant, comic book enthusiast Mario sets out across Manila to experience the wealth and diversity of the city’s cultural scene. Elwood Perez employs a sprawling cast of professionals and non-actors alike to create a campy, kaleidoscopic, quasi-documentary of the city’s rich yet dangerous underbelly.
Featuring Ronnie Liang, Boots Anson-Roa, Vince Tañada, Esoterika: Maynila was the opening film of the 2014 Cinema One Originals Film Festival. It received the Film Critics’ Choice Award at the 2015 Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Awards (FAMAS) and was screened at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Cinemalaya Film Festival.
You can watch and support some local films on MOOV, Cinema Centenario’s video on-demand online channel.