Top Ten Philippine Independent Films in 2009

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Philippine independent films are currently on the upswing this year. They have gained a significantly higher attention and number of viewers as compared to past years. The most interesting and laudable Filipino independent films shortlisted in the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival for 2009 are the following:

24K by Ana Agabin


Agabin’s movie is about two Yamashita treasure hunters’ adventures and misadventures as they got confident to do so from a medium’s good omen. However, when they actually got to the site, there were unexpected things that caused them to act and make decisions to remedy those happenings which were not predicted for them by the medium. One of the treasure hunter roles was played by talented actor Jojit Lorenzo.

Ang Nerseri (The Nursery) by Vic Acedillo, Jr.


This film perfectly portrays the after-effects of a dysfunctional family as seen from the very perspective of the supposedly innocent child who was forced to take responsibilities he would not have otherwise needed to take if his parents were all well and there for him. The child lead character Cocoy, abandoned by his mother (played by renowned local actress Jaclyn Jose), had to take care of his siblings and adjust to his growth as a child on his own.

Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe by Alvin Yapan

Panggagahasa poster.jpg

Writer-director Alvin Yapan has got it all together in this film. His brilliant talent combined with the talents of the entire cast that make up this independent film made it part of the top ten finalists of the recent Independent Cinemalaya film festival. Irma Adlawan’s acting stands out and gives life to the character of Fe. Her situation stands in stark contrast to the very quiet introduction of the movie setting.

Astig (Mga Batang Kalye) by GB Sampedro

GMA 7 stars Dennis Trillo and Glaiza de Castro star in this independent film and it was produced by ABS-CBN’s host Boy Abunda with Boy So. The story revolves around four major characters who are trying to survive tough life in Manila streets. Multi-awarded writer Jarry Gracio wrote the film.

Colorum by Jon Steffan Ballesteros

An unlikely alliance or crossing of paths between a policeman plus part-time FX driver and an ex-convict marks the starting point of the movie Colorum. In the very odd joining of forces between the two, played by Lou Veloso and Alfred Vargas, exchange of witty banters and ruminations about life and morality emerge as really striking parts of the film.

Dinig Sana Kita by Mike Sandejas

More than being a typical love story between a deaf person and a hearing person, the film Dinig Sana Kita by Mike Sandejas focused heavily on fully developing the lead characters. It’s also an eye opener on the lives of the deaf and their deaf community. It also has a very catchy soundtrack.

Engkwentro by Pepe Diokno

This independent film makes Pepe Diokno the youngest Filipino film-maker to be ever awarded an independent film award. This is most notable among the other independent films because it gained critical acclaim in the 66th Venice International Film Festival, the “Luigi de Laurentiis” award which honors the best debut film with a $100,000 cash prize.

Last Supper No. 3 by Veronica Velasco and Jinky Laurel

The best film in the 2009 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival, Last Supper No. 3 is a humorous take on the Philippine legal system and a assistant production designer’s life changing experiences after trying to score a Last Supper prop for a TV commercial.

Mangatyanan (The Blood Trail) by Jerrold Tarog

Tarog made a very good educational film out of this independent film, that is bound to attract schools and other educational institutions. Produced by National Museum curator John Silva, this film about a sexually abused character named Laya who finds a strong connection to the Mangatyanan tribe, has gained a lot of audience and critic approval.

Sanglaan by Milo Sogueco

Topbilled by actress Tessie Tomas as the pawnshop owner, Sanglaan is an independent film about people whom one can see in real life without exaggerations. It portrays regular life conditions of average Filipinos through its characters, and the role of the pawnshop or sanglaan in the midst of these regular events.


  • Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Accessed December 30, 2009
  • Best of Filipino independent films featured in Cinemalaya Cinco at CCP. Balita-dot-ph
  • 24k Film in the Making
  • Ang Nerseri
  • Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe Lilok Pelikula
  • Astig Review
  • Astig. Cinemalaya website
  • Colorum Cinemalaya website
  • Colorum Review. The Persistence of Vision.
  • Dinig Sana Kita Review. ABS-CBN News Online
  • ‘Engkwentro’ Wins Big in 66th Venice International Filmfest. Starmometer.
  • 'Last Supper No. 3' Wins Best Film In Cinemalaya 2009 ClicktheCity.
  • Mangatyanan (The Blood Trail) now being screened in IndieSine. Philippine Entertainment Portal.
  • Tessie Tomas topbills Cinemalaya entry Sanglaan. Philippine Entertainment Portal.



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