It’s a shame that for this year, MMFF decided to bring back its old standards and accepted entries from commercially viable actors and production companies, but thanks to this year’s inaugural Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the viewing public is watching more and more independent films made by exceptional directors.
While we mourn for the short but sweet “renaissance” of the MMFF, we’re still thankful for film festivals that celebrate works of independent actors, directors, and production companies; if not for them, these actors listed below wouldn’t have an opportunity to showcase their acting skills.
Watch her in: Patay Na Si Hesus, Respeto, Pauwi Na
The talented actress showed her chops in two of the most critically acclaimed films this year. In Patay Na Si Hesus, Fonacier plays Jude, a trans man, one of Jaclyn Jose’s children. While in the Cinemalaya runaway hit Respeto, the actress plays Betchai, the boyish friend of Abra’s character. We can’t wait to see her in a starring role after her successful stint as a supporting character.
Watch him in: Buy Bust
Brandon “The Truth” Vera is known for his commanding moves inside the octagon, but this year he’ll be known as the newest action star in Philippine cinema. Moviegoers will see the mixed martial artist suit up for acclaimed director Erik Matti’s latest film Buy Bust alongside Anne Curtis.
Watch him in: Respeto
The Cinemalaya standout film centers on Hendrix, played by rapper Abra, an amateur and impoverished rapper who meets a martial law poet who helps him find his inner voice and verses. Backed by an impressive cast, Abra shines all throughout the film with his (surprisingly good) acting skills.
Watch him in: Citizen Jake
We all know Atom Araullo as a respected journalist, but this year he’ll be making his debut on the big screen when he stars in Citizen Jake, a comeback film for acclaimed director Mike de Leon. In the movie, Araullo plays a journalist named Jake Herrera. Araullo is also credited as a co-scriptwriter of the film.