12 Filipino movies to watch in 2022

The columnist (center) with Jun Robles Lana (right) — director of ‘Amoral’ and ‘About Us But Not About Us’ — and director Percy Intalan.

Filipino cinema is alive and well – take a look at some of the films slated for release this year. Despite being in the midst of a pandemic, our filmmakers have persevered to bring us great movies.

Our local theaters wrapped up in 2021 with Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entries such as “Whether the Weather is Fine,” “Hard Day,” and “Big Night!” Many other Filipino titles have gained attention on the world stage. And it just keeps getting better as this year we are looking forward to a new slate of Filipino movies.

Most of these films are currently in post-production. Let’s take a look at some of what’s coming out this year.

1. “Apag” by Brillante Mendoza/Center Stage Productions

A hit-and-run accident intertwines the lives of Rafael and Nita. Rafael (Coco Martin) employs a played widow (Jaclyn Jose) at his family restaurant in an effort to make amends for a secret past. This is a reunion film for the two Cannes-winning actors.

2. “Pula” by Brillante Mendoza/Center Stage Productions

Police Senior Master Sergeant Daniel Faraon is assigned to investigate a recent case of the murder and rape of a teenage girl. As the investigation progresses, he discovers something else. Daniel begins to suspect an extramarital affair involving his wife, Magda, and the town’s police chief, Raymond, who happens to be Daniel’s immediate superior.

3. “When The Waves Are Gone” by Lav Diaz / Epicmedia, Sine Olivia Pilipinas, Films Boutique, Rosa Filmes, Snowglobe, Tier Pictures

A film noir supported by Arte France, “When The Waves Are Gone” features John Lloyd Cruz and Ronnie Lazaro. Decades after his imprisonment, the prisoner is freed and embarks on a bloody revenge against his old friend to recover all he has lost.

4. “Amoral” by Jun Robles Lana / The IdeaFirst Company, Octobertrain Films and Quantum Films

What happens when people lose their moral compass? In Jun Robles Lana’s “Amoral,” the lives of four people are tangled in a web of lies and deception, drawing them all to an end where destruction is inevitable.

5. “About Us But Not About Us” by Jun Robles Lana / The IdeaFirst Company, Octobertrain Films and Quantum Films

A conversation between a teacher and his student turns into a game where the truth could be at stake.

6. “Abo” (Ashes) by Loy Arcenas / Daluyong Studios

A grieving widow returns to her husband’s island estate to scatter his ashes. She becomes obsessed with a boy who is said to be her husband’s son with a servant. She hatches a plan with tragic consequences.

7. “Divine Factory” by Joseph Mangat / Daluyong Studios with Volos Films

“Divine Factory”, formerly known as “Holy Craft”, is a documentary that guides us into the universe of a city-factory, a labyrinth where the marginalized work day and night to paint and model the image of Catholic saints. While for many devotees in the Philippines their work fulfills desires for redemption, for workers the factory is nothing more than a place to hide from the world and a way to survive.

This film was chosen by Asian Shadows, a Hong Kong-based film sales company, for international representation. It also won the Docs-in-Progress award at the Cannes Film Market in 2020.

8. “Cancelledt” by Quark Henares/Anima (formerly Globe Studios)

Hopeless romantic Janzen finds another chance at love when she teams up with handsome and seemingly perfect Theo on a dating app. Unfortunately, the day they meet, Theo ghosts her, dragging Janzen into a complex web of deception, lies, and catfishing led by the sociopathic mastermind, Beanie. Based on the shocking and sensational Twitter feed that rocked the Philippines in 2020, “Cancelledt” is a dark comedic thriller from the studio that brought “Dead Kids” and “On The Job” to you.

9. “The Brokers” by Daniel Palacio / Center Stage Productions

“The Brokers” follows the story of Mike, a real estate agent trying to sell a strip of land for development. The problem is that there are people living there. The drama starring JC De Vera was selected to take part in the Tokyo International Film Festival last November.

10. “Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan” by Chito Roño / Regal Entertainment and Black Sheep Productions

Based on the popular book of the same title by author Bob Ong, the film follows the story of Galo, played by Joshua Garcia, and his mysterious and chilling encounters.

Superstar Nora Aunor plays the title role in

Superstar Nora Aunor plays the title role in “Kontrabida”. FACEBOOK PICTURES

11. “Kontrabida” by Adolfo Alix Jr. / Godfather Productions and Ovation Productions

Different from her usual roles as the humble and long-patient protagonist, superstar Ms. Nora Aunor will play the villain as the lead role in “Kontrabida.” Esteemed actors Bembol Roco, Rosanna Roces and Jaclyn Jose will also be in the film. The film was written by Jerry Gracio and produced by Joed Serrano.

JM De Guzman in 'Sentensyador'.  PHOTO INSTAGRAM/1MIGUELDEGUZMAN

JM De Guzman in ‘Sentensyador’. PHOTO INSTAGRAM/1MIGUELDEGUZMAN

12. “Sentensyador” by Richard Sommes / Ampersand Campaign, Strawdogs Studio Productions and Tag Team Stunts

The simple man Ramil Vergara (JM De Guzman) marries the beautiful and wealthy Michelle. But a tragedy brings the fairy tale to a violent end, sending Ramil into a downward spiral of anger and revenge in his quest to exact justice for himself, taking with him those who have wronged them.

* * *

No matter where we watch these films, the local film industry won’t stop creating films and content. Some of them can make the rounds at festivals around the world (and gain recognition!) while some can be acquired from various film markets for screening in other countries or can even be released theatrically, while some can be made available on local and international streaming. platforms.

The Philippine film industry is vibrant and growing. Kudos to our filmmakers for persevering through the growing challenges of our industry and for continually striving to bring us well-crafted films that inspire excitement.

About Monty S. Maynard

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