10 Pinoy Indie Films you should watch

Indie films fever will dominate again the vibes of the many who are very well inclined in watching and criticizing these kinds of films as the biggest indie film festival in the country known as Cinemalaya will open another season of shorts, new breed and directors showcase entries for the 10th time.

But before you commit yourself to a 10-day relationship watching Cinemalaya, make sure you have watched the films listed below.

To those who are not into indie films or just starting to like the genre, try watching these films and I assure you that you’ll love indie films ever much and more, and start to hate nonsense romantic-comedy or comedic films out there that are producer-driven and income-oriented.

(The list is either in particular or not in particular order)

1. Ang Nawawala (What Isn’t There)

Category: Drama, Romance

The plot I know: This is a story of a guy named Gibson (Dominic Roco) who created an imagination of his dead twin brother, Jamie (Felix  Roco) who talks with him every time life becomes unfair and when their mom, Esme (Dawn Zulueta) enters the scene.

Accompanied with one of the best Pinoy film soundtracks you’ll ever listen to supported by the fact that it won the Best Original Music Score in Cinemalaya 8, Ang Nawawala also tackles the life of Gibson in the world of friendzone.

If you want to cry, watch this film.

Award!: Audience Choice, Best Original Music Score

Ang Nawawala poster from http://whatisntthere.com


2. Ang Babae sa Septic Tank

Category: Drama, Comedy

The plot I know: Eugene Domingo fell down to the septic tank. This is how the film ended and how the film gave justice to the title.

The three types of acting: Elevator acting, the TV Patrol acting and “As is, where is” acting was popularized by this film.

(The address of this blog was inspired by this film)

Award!: Best Screenplay, Best Direction, Best Actress (Eugene Domingo), Best Film, Audience Choice Award

Ang Babae sa Septic Tank poster from http://moviecarpet.com


3. Transit

Category: Drama

The plot I know: Transit tackles the life of OFWs and Pinoy immigrants in Israel that suffered from the law deporting their children if found illegitimate to live in the country. 

Award!: Basta, it’s the most awarded film including the Best Film in Cinemalaya 9.



4. Esktra

Category: Drama, Comedy

The plot I know: This is not a story of Vilma Santos. This is a story of the struggle, triumph and life of every bit players. Sila naman ang bida.

Award!: Best Screenplay, Best Actress (Vilma Santos)

Ekstra poster from http://cinemalaya.org
5. Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay

Category: Drama, Comedy, “Mockumentary”

The plot I know: This is the story of well-loved but not well-known actress who always play manananggal/aswang/white lady or what have you in your mind that is scary named Lilia Cuntapay. She should have been in Ekstra!

If you want to cry, watch this film.

My film review here: Six Degrees of Separation of Lilia Cuntapay

Award!: Best Actress (Lilia Cuntapay), Best Editing, Best Screenplay, Special Jury Prize (all from Cinema One Originals Film Fest)

To the Director: Who is Alexis?

Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay poster from http://tadonggeniuskuno.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/i-want-to-watch-6-degrees-of-separation-from-lilia-cuntapay/


6. Serbis

Category: Drama, Action, Romance

Indie films are not always drama or comedy. Indie films are in fact stereotyped as being bold, full of nudity and such.

The plot I know: This is a story of family and call boys in the world of prostitution inside a movie house.

Award!: Basta, it is the most awarded film, including the Best Picture, in 32nd Gawad Urian.



7. Babagwa (Spider’s Lair)

Category: Drama, Comedy

The plot I know: This is a story of a guy named  Greg (Alex Medina), a Conman, who tricks other guys (probably bis or gays) on Facebook, asking for money. But, a woman (in character as Alma Concepcion) would change all Greg’s attitude, and his decision to live with that woman is life changing. 

Award!: Best Supporting Actor (Joey Paras)


8. MNL 143

Category: Drama, Comedy, Romance

This is the controversial film that was pulled out in Cinemalaya 9 because of wrong casting. 

The plot I know: This film rides in on the life of an FX driver (Alan Paule) who meets different types of people and their stories along the way in Manila to QC. Little did he know that he will meet again his wife (Joy Viado) that left him. 

My film review here: From Manila with Love

Award!: (none yet)

MNL 143

9. Metro Manila

Category: Drama, Romance, Action

The plot I know: The story of the plight of a family that left their life in Banawe and chose to face the chaotic world in Metro Manila.

Award!: Audience Choice: World Dramatic (Sundance Film Festival), Best British Independent Film (British Independent Film Festival), etc.

Metro Manila

10. Signos (The Sign)

Category: Drama, Horror

This is the first indie movie I watched 

The plot I know: This indie film tackles environmental issues, superstitions and unexplainable things that haunt the characters.

Award!: Best Foreign Film (Lone Star International Film Festival)



(If you have the 11th, 12th and so on, just comment it below and put a 2-sentence plot/”The plot I know”-like words of it. Thank you)



18 Responses to “10 Pinoy Indie Films you should watch”
  1. Carlo says:

    You should have added
    “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros” and “Walang Kawala (No Way Out)”.

    • PJ Rock A. Palma says:

      Yeah. Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros is one of the best out there but in this list, I only listed those shown 2010 and above, except for Signos (2007). On the other hand, I haven’t watched Walang Kawala. Maybe, you have a copy? Hehehe. Thanks, dude/sir.

  2. Meron ka bang mga kopya nito? Hahaha

  3. anony says:

    You should include Senior Year(2011) on your list. 🙂

  4. habagat says:

    saan ba makakabili ng DVD nito?? wala naman kasi sa mga dvd stores sa malls eh..

  5. Tricia says:

    Hi there! Saan ba pwede mapanuod itong mga indie films na ito kasi kahit gustuhin ko man manuod sa cinemalaya mismo di naman kaya ng sched. 😦 pls answer po Is there other way for me to watch it

    • PJ Rock A. Palma says:

      If you could accessed the UP Mass Communication’s library, that will answer your problem. You can privately watched them in the library but borrowing the DVDs out is not allowed.

  6. Charlyn says:

    saan po sa ccp makakabili ng DVDs?

  7. Mikadzki says:

    Thy womb by nora aunour

  8. franzdot says:

    “Ang Nawawala” is the best! ❤

  9. emzy says:

    you spoil the films, sus! you are recommending a film by spoiling the whole pl
    ot story.

    • PJ Rock A. Palma says:

      Whole plot? Pakihanap po para sa akin. Di ko po mahanap. Gumawa ka ng sarili mong blog na wala kang ilalagay na plot, okay????

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