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Netflix adds Filipino indie titles including 'Apocalypse Child,' 'Patay na si Hesus' and more

By Kara Santos Published Dec 22, 2020 12:23 am Updated Dec 22, 2020 12:29 am

In case you missed it, Netflix recently added four acclaimed Filipino indie titles from the last decade to their media library.

Local titles Apocalypse Child, Balangiga: Howling Wilderness, Patay na si Hesus, and Zombadings: Patayin sa Sindak Si Remington were just added on Sunday (Dec. 20) and are currently streaming on Netflix. 

The biggest streaming platform in the world has been amping up their local content for Philippine viewers, with many Filipino films now accessible on the network. With cinemas still closed in major cities including Metro Manila, Netflix has become a much-needed venue for people to access both international and local shows. 

Along with the usual crowd-pleasing hits and rom-coms, it’s good to know that indie flicks are finding a venue on the mainstream platform.  While these films may not have made big splash in the box office, they've done the rounds of the film festival circuits, and deserve to be more accessible to audiences everywhere.

Here’s a quick look at the four films that recently dropped on Netflix.

Apocalypse Child (2015)

The fictional tale set in the coastal town of Baler features aspects of local surf culture and stars Sid Lucero, Annicka Dolonius, Gwen Zamora, RK Bagatsing, Ana Abad Santos, and Archie Alemania.

The independent film co-written by Mario Cornejo and Monster Jimenez won rave reviews and accolades including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Artistic Achievement when it premiered at the Quezon City Film Festival in 2015. It won a host of other cinematography and acting awards and took home the Fasken Martineau Best Feature Film prize at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival in 2016.

Synopsis: Believing he’s the son of film director Francis Ford Coppola, a surfer from the Philippines confronts his past while struggling to find a way forward.

Balangiga: Howling Wilderness (2017)

This indie film directed by Khavn De La Cruz shows the events following the brutal massacre of several Samarnon and how they fled elsewhere to the neighboring island. The movie's shooting location took place in different parts of Samar, Leyte and Zambales (Central Luzon).

The film received several top awards from various prestigious award-giving bodies in the Philippines, including Best Picture, Best Director and nods for the movie stars based in Tacloban City during the QCinema International Film Festival in 2017. It was also awarded the coveted Jury Prize at the 5th Bangkok ASEAN Film Festival during the closing ceremony held in Cinema Central World, Bangkok, Thailand.

Synopsis: In U.S.-occupied Philippines, a small boy flees his hometown with his grandpa and must survive the wilderness with a toddler he takes under his wing. 

Patay na si Hesus (2016)

The Cebuano dark comedy road trip film starring Jacyln Jose, Vincent Viado, Chai Fonacier and Melde Montañez, was initially released as an entry at the QCinema International Film Festival, where it won the Audience Choice and Gender Senstivity Award. It also won the Jury's Choice at the 2017 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino.

Synopsis: When Iyay, a single mother, learns that her estranged husband has died, she drags the entire family on a road trip from Cebu to Dumaguete to attend the funeral. 

Zombadings: Patayin sa Sindak si Remington (2011)

This Philippine indie suspense comedy film screened in Cinemalaya and released theatrically in 2011 was directed by Jade Castro and stars Martin Escudero. The genre- and gender-bending Filipino horror comedy offers gay zombies and a pro-tolerance message.

Synopsis: As the town's gay population turn up dead and covered in a mysterious green goo, Remington fears he will become gay after a drag queen curses him. 

All of the films listed are currently streaming on Netflix.

(Banner image from Apocalypse Child via Netflix)