8 Indie Films

That Tackle Social Issues

By 8List

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Hurray for the booming independent films! Filipinos have been producing quality indie films for the past few years, and now’s the time for them to shine!

Independent films are mostly themed to spread awareness on social issues. Here’s a list of independent films that tackle real issues –  the unending debate on the LGBT community, poverty, drugs, and Filipino OFWs:

Baka Bukas (2016)

Baka Bukas is a film about Alex, a lesbian who came out to her family and friends, except to her best friend. The twist begins with her best friend knowing the truth, and this has lead to a deeper understanding of their own relationship. The director, Samantha Lee, said in one of her interviews that she wanted to present the LGBT community in a light that goes beyond what is being shown in mainstream media. Although , LGBT is openly expressed here in the Philippines, it is not well accepted. Ask Jake Zyrus.


7. Imbisibol (Invisible) (2015)

Imbisibol is a film about illegal Filipino workers in Japan–overstaying well beyond the maximum number of stay expressed in their visa. The story features different people in different situations, whether good or bad.

The film shows the struggles of OFWs, and the lengths they are willing to go to just to support their family here in the Philippines. Directed by Lawrence Fajardo, Imbisibol won a handful of awards at the Sinag Maynila Film Festival in 2015.


6. Transit (2013)

Also a film about OFWs, Transit is all about the migrants in Israel who bore their children there. When the government decided to deport children of OFWs, the families hid their children away from the police.


5. Pamilya Ordinaryo (2016)

Pamilya Ordinaryo is a story about teenage couple who lives around the city, and stealing money for a living. Life hits them back hard when their child is kidnapped.

This film by Eduardo Roy Jr. is an eye opener. There are a lot of issues that was tackled in the film – from poverty, security, and teenage pregnancy; all in one indie film. This is definitely worth watching.

4. Laut (2016)

Laut tells the story of an indigenous family in Zamboanga who happens to be resettled by the government in Pampanga. They were then forced to beg on the streets just to survive.

Director Louie Ignacio wanted to show the story behind the indigenous people that we see begging in the streets.


3. Whistleblower (2016)

Whistleblower is about a financial consultant who found a new job, only to find out that the person she works for is a scammer who built a fake NGO to get money.


2. The Janitor (2014)

The Janitor is  about a suspended police officer who was tasked to kill the perpetrators of a bank heist gone horribly wrong. But as he kills the people in the list, he realizes he was not a police officer anymore, but has instead become a hitman.


1. Ma’ Rosa (2016)

Ma’ Rosa tells of a  small-scale illegal drug distribution that permeate the dingy streets and back alleys of the urban jungle. Director Brilliante Mendoza tackles in this film quite a lot of issues— poverty, corruption, and the unending war on drugs.  In the Cannes Film Festival of 2016, Jaclyn Jose bagged the best actress award for her role in this movie.


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