NETFLIX announced on Monday a new slate of beloved and critically-acclaimed Pinoy films across a variety of genres – from horror, comedy, to critically-acclaimed drama. Partnering with leading production studios, including Viva, ERJ Found Films, Black Cap Pictures and Changhe Films, the latest lineup opens Netflix members to a world of diverse storytelling from the Philippines.
“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.”
“With the world’s inevitable shift to digital platforms for content, it is reassuring that Netflix gives us a showcase of Filipino titles for more audiences and markets to have access to,” said Liza Diño, chairman and CEO of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP). “Of the five films that Netflix will be releasing, at the FDCP we are especially excited about the inclusion of ‘Lola Igna,’ a heartwarming film from our very own Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino which won Best Picture, and the much-awarded 2016 film ‘Pamilya Ordinaryo’ (‘Ordinary People’) which is one of our Cine Lokal hits when it screened in theaters and a winner in Venice Days of the Venice International Film Festival. This growing slate of Filipino content on Netflix is a true reflection of the diversity of what Philippine Cinema has to offer. And Netflix giving space to more Filipino films is an affirmation that the Philippines has the potential of globalizing its local market.”
“Pinoy Sunday” (Changhe Films Ltd) is inspired by a 1958 Roman Polanski short. This lighthearted examination of modern life in Taipei follows two Filipino immigrants, Manuel and Dado, during their day off from work, when the chance discovery of a discarded couch leads to adventure. It is by director Widing Ho and stars Bayani Agbayani, Jeffrey Quizon, Nor Domingo, Dave Ronald Chang, Meryll Soriano, Alessandra de Rossi. It will be released June 5.
“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,” said director Ho, “It is a tremendous honor to have my second movie after ‘Cities of Last Things’ to be included on a platform which 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.”
“Sunod” (Black Cap Pictures Inc) is about a mother of a sick child who takes a demanding call center job where the building’s sinister secrets begin to haunt her. It stars Carmina Villarroel, Mylene Dizon, JC Santos, Kate Alejandrino, Krystal Brimner, Rhed Bustamante, and Susan Africa. It will be released June 14.
“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,” said director Carlo Ledesma.
“Untrue” (Viva Communications, Inc.) revolves around Mara and Joachim, played by Cristine Reyes and Xian Lim. Mara meets a mysterious man, Joachim, in Georgia. They develop feelings for one another, until Joachim claims to hear peculiar sounds and see visions of a strange woman. It is directed by Sigrid Andrea Bernardo and will be out on June 22.
“Lola Igna” (ERJ Found Film Production Co.) is about an elderly woman who finds her life disrupted when her family and village realize she has a chance at a world record for being the oldest grandmother alive. The film was awarded Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Musical Score and Best Actress at the 2019 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino Awards Night. It stars acclaimed actress Angie Ferro with Yves Flores, Meryll Soriano, Maria Isabel Lopez, Royce Cabrera, Jojo Riguerra, Armando A. Reyes. It will be released on June 18. It is by filmmaker Eduardo W. Roy, Jr., who is also at the helm of “Ordinary People” (ERJ Found Film Production Co.)
“Ordinary People” is about a teenage couple in Manila who resort to desperate measures when their one-month-old child is kidnapped. It stars Ronwaldo Martin, Hasmine Kilip, Maria Isabel Lopez, Sue Prado, Ruby Ruiz, Raymon Lee, Karl Medina, Erlina Villalobos, Menggie Cobrarrubias.
“Ordinary People” 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.
“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.”
These films follow the success of other Pinoy titles on Netflix, including “Eerie,” “The Girl Allergic to Wi-Fi,” and “Miss Granny,” which were among the top ten most popular titles in the Philippines in 2019, as well as the December 2019 release of Filipino Netflix Film “Dead Kids” by award-winning director Mikhail Red.
“I feel very grateful as a filmmaker that my work has reached audiences all around the world thanks to Netflix,” said Red. “It is my goal to use storytelling and genres to get my message across, entertain, and engage people at the same time. Netflix has granted me the perfect platform to connect with an audience anytime and anywhere. Even my older film, ‘Birdshot,’ which has been on Netflix for three years is still getting fresh reactions online from viewers seeing it for the first time.”
To make this Independence Day even more special, “Jo Koy: In His Elements,” will premiere globally on Netflix on June 12. For the first time ever, comedian Jo Koy takes Netflix to the Philippines in his new special. The comedian celebrates his heritage by telling jokes about life as a Filipino-American while highlighting the culture of Manila. He uses this opportunity to shine a light on other Filipino-American performers by welcoming to the stage famed breakdancer Ronnie, Grammy-winning producer !llmind, singer/songwriter Iñigo Pascual, and comedians Andrew Lopez, Joey Guila, and Andrew Orolfo.