Heads up, film lovers! Over 13 of TBA Studios’ best indie films have been posted online with more to come in the future.
Movie theaters have been closed for months now, so most of us have turned to the internet to watch movies. While we might have to pay a fee for a subscription service or rental to watch movies online, a local movie production company has been uploading their movies online for us to watch for free. Yes, you read that right. TBA Studios, known for producing films like Heneral Luna (2015) and I’m Drunk, I Love You (2017), has been uploading a selection of their movies onto their YouTube page and the best part is that there is no need to pay to watch them.
They have been doing this since the start of quarantine in March, uploading new movies every so often. Now, there are over 13 films to watch that come from different genres that range from comedies to dramas, horror, and even a documentary.
To guide you to the right choice, here’s a short summary of the 13 movies by TBA Studios that are currently available on YouTube:
Directed by Chuck Gutierrez
Starring Angeli Bayani, Rio Locsin, Jess Mendoza, Perry Dizon and Mon Confiado
TBA studios describes this war movie as a narrative feature about a never-ending war, a town ravaged
by a devastating storm, and the woman caught in between.
Directed by Jerrold Tarog
Starring Iza Calzado, Ian Veneracion, TJ Trinidad, Shamaine Buencamino, Michael De Mesa, Audie Gemora, Stephanie Sol, Adrienne Vergara, and Star Orjaliza.
This horror film follows Jane Ciego, a successful actress who produces her own film as a way to gain
respect from the industry. During the film shoot, she is involved in an accident that leaves her disabled. In order to recuperate and be secluded from the press, she stays in an eerily empty house under the care and supervision of her husband, Carlo, and a cruel, weird nurse named Lilibeth.
As time goes on, she slowly experiences hallucinations and descends into madness. This movie was originally not allowed to be released on cinemas as the content was deemed too mature but eventually, the film was given an R-18 rating. This film may hit to close to home for those of us who spent the past months cooped up at home. Watch here.
Dormitoryo: Mga Walang Katapusang Kwarto (2017)
Directed by Emerson Reyes
Starring Ces Quesada, Charles Aaron Salazar, Vandolph, Kate Alejandrino, Jun Sabayton, Wowie De Guzman, Max Celada and Sheen Gener
This movie follows Charles, an engineering student with an eye for beauty who just returned from school to a dormitory owned by Aling Linda, a strict, lonesome widow. Charles is joined by a colorful cast of characters in the dorm including Max, a college student in his 7th year, Sheen, his reluctant partner, Steven, a social entrepreneur, Ramon, his cop lover, Alex, a call center agent, and Jenny, his attentive girlfriend. They all spend the evening tucked away in solitary rooms, talking about collective experiences, sharing a similar fate all while rent is due. This film had its premiere at the 2017 QCinema International Film Festival and was recognized with the Gender Sensitivity Award at the festival.
Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo (2016)
Directed by Mikh Vergara
Starring Nafa Hilario-Cruz, Lenlen Frial, William Buenavente and Claude Adrales
This movie revolves around Meng, a 10-year old who loves Patintero. The only problem is that she’s
terrible at it and her reputation has earned her the title of the neighborhood “patalo” (loser). But in the
continuing struggle against the high school team that has one-sidedly claimed the territory of the local
sari-sari store, Meng forms an unlikely team of fellow losers to finally challenge these high schoolers in
the biggest game of their lives. Patintero took home the Audience Choice Award and Gender Sensitivity
Award at the 2015 QCinema International Film Festival.
Directed by Jet Leyco
Starring Amante Pulido, Sheilbert Manuel, Lance Raymundo and Teri Malva
The film’s synopsis is as follows: The routine of the quaint rural town of Matangtubig is broken with the discovery of a girl’s remains, defiled in an open grass field, and another girl, missing. Claims for justice and a search ensues, the national media turns its attention. As the town is put on trial for the secrets it keeps, a local fisherman struggles with his conscience to admitting as a witness. The townsfolk become entities for decency and sham. Attempting to divert attention, the town put up its yearly festival by the lake, unknowing of a sleeping evil that has come to claim them.
Water Lemon (2015)
Directed by Lem Lorca
Starring Junjun Quintana, Tessie Tomas, Meryll Soriano, Alessandra de Rossi, Lou Veloso, Lui Manansala, Menggie Cobarrubias and Daniel Marsh
This film is set in the coastal town of Mauban, Quezon, where the normal lives of a grieving widow, a socially handicapped genius, and a helpless grandfather interconnect to create bumps in their boring lives. The movie took home 3 awards at the 2015 QCinema International Film Festival: Best Actress for Tessie Tomas, Best Screenplay for Lilit Reyes, and Best Supporting Actor for Lou Veloso.
Directed by Cesar Hernando
Starring Benjamin Alves, Elora Españo and Phoebe Walker
This erotic drama follows Mike, a young student artist at the UP College of Fine Arts. He is happy with
his relationship with his girlfriend, Joy, who is also a student taking up a film course. A beautiful and
mysterious figure drawing model in their school catches Mike’s attention and is slowly drawn to her. He
gets to meet the model, Stella, but she proves to be quite elusive. Mike’s curiosity slowly turns into an obsession that leads to a discovery of a dark heritage and ends in deep erotic passion linked from his
Directed by Mikhail Red
Starring Eula Valdez, Timothy Castillo, Rocky Salumbides, Jess Mendoza, Angeli Bayani
From the director of Birdshot (2016) and Eerie (2019) comes this gritty drama about Toto, a teenage orphan, who is recruited by a notorious death squad. Irma, the group’s leader, soon becomes a maternal figure to the young boy. As the two form a familial bond, their loyalties will be put to the test when one of their targets turns out to be a familiar face. This film has racked up a few awards including the Audience Choice Award at the 2017 QCinema International Film Festival and Best Cinematography at the 2018 Gawad Urian Awards.
I’m Drunk, I Love You (2017)
Directed by JP Habac
Starring Maja Salvador, Paulo Avelino, Dominic Roco, Jasmine Curtis-Smith
For those looking for a more romantic drama option, this cult hit might be a good choice. Days before their graduation, two college best friends, Carson and Dio, go on one last road trip where they settle how they really feel for each other. But to put it upfront, this is not the usual love story as things don’t go as expected. Jerrold Tarog, the director of Heneral Luna and Bliss, helped compose the music for this film. A sequel is currently in the works so now might be a good time to watch this.
Women of the Weeping River (2016)
Directed by Sheron Dayoc
Starring Laila Ulao, Mariam Zimadar Caranay-Raper, Taha Daranda, Sharifa Pearlsia Ali-Dans
This critically acclaimed film follows two women in a remote Muslim community who confront an escalating blood feud and reach deep into themselves in hopes to undo the feud stretching back generations. This film has won numerous awards both locally and abroad including Best Picture at the 2016 QCinema International Film Festival and 2017 Gawad Urian Awards, and Best Feature Film at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival.
Sunday Beauty Queen (2016)
Directed by Babyruth Villarma
Starring Rudelyn Acosta, Cherrie Mae Bretana, Mylyn Jacobo, Hazel Perdido, Leo Selomenio
This film differs from the rest as this is a documentary. Getting its name from the day in which the
pageants are held, Sunday Beauty Queen follows five Filipina domestic workers working in Hong Kong
who participates in local beauty pageants organized by fellow Filipinos in Hong Kong. At times
heartwarming, others heartbreaking, this documentary sheds a light on a very interesting topic that not
many people may know about. The pageant aspect of the film may be the most interesting part, but it
tugs at the heartstrings with its intimate portrayal of the ups and downs of Filipina domestic workers
working in Hong Kong. The movie took home Best Picture at MMFF 2016.
K’na, the Dreamweaver (2014)
Directed by Ida Del Mundo
Starring Mara Lopez, RK Bagatsing, Alex Medina, Nonie Buencamino, Bembol Roco and Erlinda Villalobos
The movie follows K’na, a young T’boli woman, who gets a chance to become a Dreamweaver, a member of the T-boli tribe who is designated with weaving the intricate patterns of the tribe. It is in this position where she has the chance to weave together her village’s warring clans. Conflicts ensue though when she has to make a choice if she will give up true love to do so. It is not often Filipino films revolve around the viewpoint of the indigenous tribes, so this is an interesting film to watch not just for viewing pleasure but also for educational purposes.
Smaller and Smaller Circles (2018)
Director: Raya Martin
Starring: Nonie Buencamino, Sid Lucero, Carla Humphries, Ricky Davao, Bembol Roco, Christopher De Leon
Based on the book of the same name by F.H. Batacan, this crime thriller centers on two Jesuit priests, Gus Saenz and Jerome Lucero, who perform forensic work to solve the mystery revolving around the murders of young boys in Payatas. While dealing with the systematic corruption of the government, church, and the elite, the two priests delve into criminal profiling, crime scene investigation, and forensic analysis to solve the killings, and eventually, find the murderer.