10 Must-See Cinemalaya Films

Cinemalaya Movies


(SPOT.ph) Can you believe Cinemalaya has been around since 2005? We've had our fair share of compelling and memorable indie standouts, whether it's 2005's Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros, 2011's Ang Babae sa Septic Tank, or 2012's Bwakaw. If you missed out on some previous film festival entries or you just want to watch a thought-provoking Filipino film, we round up 10 Cinemalaya movies and where you can catch them online.


(Pro-tip: The newly opened Cinema '76 screens Cinemalaya films at just P100 or check out CCP's free screenings of previous Cinemalaya entries every week!)



Endo (2007)

Cinemalaya credits: Special Jury Prize, Best Actress (Ina Feleo), and Best Editing (JD Domingo)

Watch it at: iflix

Leo (Jason Abalos) is forced to quit school and take on various contractual jobs to support his family. His relationships are just as short-lived as his jobs—that is, until he meets a spirited young woman named Tanya (Ina Feleo) who changes his life.




Tribu (2007)

Cinemalaya credits: Best Film (Jim Libiran), Best Actors (Ensemble), and Best Sound (Mark Laccay)

Watch it at: iflix

Told through the eyes of a 10-year-old boy, this film delves into the dangerous world of Tondo, as well as the petty criminals immersed in the underground rap and hip-hop scene. Things escalate when a seemingly random murder triggers a bloody gang war. 



Jay (2008)

Cinemalaya credits: Best Film, Best Actor (Baron Geisler), and Best Editing (Francis Pasion)

Watch it at: iflix, CineTropa

Directed by the late Francis Pasion and starring Baron Geisler and Coco Martin, this movie revolves around Jay Mercado, who is murdered because of his sexuality. A gay television producer named Jay Santiago decides to create a documentary on the hate crime, manipulating and sensationalizing the family's grief and poverty for higher ratings.



Donor (2010)

Cinemalaya credits: Best Film (Director's Showcase), Best Actor (Baron Geisler), Best Actress (Meryll Soriano), Best Supporting Actress (Karla Pambid), and Best Production Design (Aped Santos)

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Watch it at: iflix

In her desperation to work abroad, a pirated DVD vendor named Lizette (Meryll Soriano) sells her kidney to a wealthy Arab patient. When a law banning organ transplants between Filipinos and foreigners is passed, Lizette agrees to marry the man just so the surgery could push through.



Ekstra (2013)

Cinemalaya credits: Special Jury Prize (Director's Showcase), Best Actress (Vilma Santos), Best Supporting Actress (Ruby Ruiz), and Best Screenplay (Zig Dulay, Antoinette Jadaone, and Jeffrey Jeturian)

Watch it at: iflix

This dramedy by Jeffrey Jeturian stars Vilma Santos as Loida, an upbeat and hardworking woman who takes a job as an extra in a local soap opera. As the shoot goes on, the film reveals the exploitation of marginalized, small-time laborers on production sets.



Sana Dati (2013)

Cinemalaya credits: Best Film (Director's Showcase), Best Director (Jerrold Tarog), Best Supporting Actor (TJ Trinidad), Best Cinematography (Mackie Galvez), among others


Watch it at: iflix, CineTropa

A young woman (Lovi Poe) suddenly gets cold feet right before her wedding when a mysterious man arrives (Paulo Avelino). It turns out that he may have ties to another man (Benjamin Alves) from her distant past.



Transit (2013)

Cinemalaya credits: Best Film (Full-Length Category), Best Director (Hannah Espia), Best Actress (Irma Adlawan), Special Jury Citation (ensemble), among others

Watch it at: CineTropa

Moises (Ping Medina) is a Filipino single father working as a caregiver in Tel Aviv, Israel. He befriends his neighbor, another Filipino named Janet (Irma Adlawan) and her daughter, Yael (Jasmine Curtis-Smith). When the Israeli government announces plans to deport children of migrant workers, Moises and Janet decide to hide their families from immigration police.



Babagwa (2013)

Cinemalaya credits: Best Supporting Actor (Joey Paras)

Watch it at: iflix

Babagwa is about an Internet scammer who attempts to swindle a wealthy woman by creating a fake Facebook profile. He gets more than he bargained for when he begins to fall in love with her. Directed by Jason Paul Laxamana, it stars Alex Medina, Alma Concepcion, and Joey Paras.




K'na, the Dreamweaver (2014)

Cinemalaya credits: Special Jury Prize (New Breed Category), Best Production Design (Toym Imao)

Watch it at: CineTropa

This film depicts the plight of K'na, a young T'boli woman who is chosen to be a dreamweaver. This gives her a chance to bring peace to her her village's warring clans, but she may have to give up her true love in order to do it.



Dagitab (2014)

Cinemalaya credits: Best Actress (Eula Valdez, New Breed Category), Best Director, and Best Screenplay (Giancarlo Abrahan V, New Breed Category)

Watch it at: iflix, CineTropa

After almost 20 years of marriage, Jimmy (Nonie Buencamino) and Issey's (Eula Valdez) relationship is crumbling. During a writers' workshop, the latter is drawn to a young student (Martin Del Rosario), whose non-fiction piece on his sexual awakening embroils all three of them in a scandal.


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