Tatler’s list of award-winning Filipino movies on Netflix

Published July 3, 2021, 2:00 PM

by Manila Bulletin

Editor’s note: With the animated series Trese featuring Philippine mythology still making waves on Neflix, where it trended in at least 19 countries within three days of its release last month, allow us to share with you this list of other celebrated Filipino originals on the streaming site. The list was drawn up by Ryanne Cheng Co, who also wrote the accompanying descriptions and synopses, for Tatler Philippines.

Heaven’s Waiting

Veteran film stars Eddie Garcia and Gina Pareno team up for the heartwarming film entitled Heaven’s Waiting. Originally released in 2018, the film centers around two ex-lovers who cross paths yet again—this time in purgatory. The film, which has received glowing reviews, won the Audience Choice Award and Best Screenplay at the 2018 QCinema International Film Festival. It also took home the Golden Sarmatian Lion Award (President’s Prize) from the 12th Orenburg International Film Festival in Russia. 


In 2017, Birdshot made headlines as the Filipino Academy Award contender for the foreign language division. Though it didn’t win, the movie and the cast still received numerous accolades, including Best Picture at the Asian Future Film Competition of the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival. Additionally, Mary Joy Apostol, who plays protagonist Maya, won Best Actress at the ASEAN Film Awards

The movie shows her journey after she unwittingly shoots an endangered Philippine eagle. Interestingly enough, it was inspired by the true story of a farmer in Bukidnon who killed, cooked, and ate an eagle in the wild. 

Kalel, 15

Kalel, 15 is a 2019 drama which revolves around the story of a 15-year-old Catholic schoolboy diagnosed with HIV. Though Kalel is but a child, he must now face the harsh realities of living with his diagnosis. The film won the Gawad Urian Award for Best Screenplay just last year (2020). Its director, Jun Lana, also won the Best Director prize at the Estonian Black Nights Film Festival in 2019.

Lola Igna

For something a bit more lighthearted, tune into Lola Igna, a dramatic comedy that tells the tale of its eponymous protagonist, a stubborn centenarian with the chance to become “the oldest living grandmother in the world.” The movie, which throws her in with her great-great-grandson Tim, is a heartfelt and touching narrative that’s topped the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino Awards in 2019. It was named Best Picture and awarded for Best Musical Score and Best Screenplay as well. Angie Ferro also won Best Actress for her role as Lola Igna. 

Ordinary People (Pamilya Ordinaryo) 

The harsh realities of teenage parents living in poverty are explored in the award-winning movie Ordinary People. After their child is kidnapped, Jane and Aries resort to desperate measures to find their child, revealing the systemic failures that are both obvious and rampant in Philippine society. This 2016 drama has won an incredible number of accolades, including, but not limited to, Best Film at the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival in 2016, and Indie Movie of the Year at the Star Awards for Movies in 2017. It was also nominated as Best Film at the 2016 Stockholm Film Festival. 

The cast itself has won a slew of awards at the Harlem International Film Festival, the Hanoi International Film Festival, and at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

Metro Manila

The driving force behind the film Metro Manila is Oscar Ramirez and his family. Originally a farmer, he relocates his family to the city in search of better opportunities. Things soon devolve when his job at an armored truck company puts his life in danger. Released in 2013, the film received an Audience Award from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and a Hamburg Film Critic Award from Filmfest Hamburg. Moreover, it was nominated for Best Film Not in the English Language at the British Academy Film Awards. 


Anne Curtis shows off her action prowess in the 2018 movie BuyBust. Sometimes viewed as a social commentary, the film centers itself around a team formed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA). The group conducts a failed drug bust in a Manila slum, where its members find themselves trapped by the settlers. This action packed thriller was nominated multiple times at the 2019 FAMAS Awards. It won Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Music at the 2019 Gawad Urian Awards.