MUST-WATCH: Award-winning Filipino movies make a mark on Netflix

Award-winning Filipino movies on Netflix

Recently, Philippine cinema has not gone unnoticed. Filipino movies have scored big wins in prestigious film festivals and people can have easy access to these movies that surely made a mark in the industry.

This is with Netflix having an extensive library of feature films, documentaries, TV shows, and anime. Also, they have award-winning Netflix originals.


Starring Mary Joy Apostol, Ku Aquino, and John Arcilla, Birdshot revolves around a farm girl in the countryside. She unwittingly kills an endangered species of Philippine eagle known as the haribon.

Two police officers were assigned to track down the haribon‘s killer. This is while investigating the mysterious disappearance of a busload of farmers en route to Manila.

Director Mikhail Red won the Critics’ Choice Award in Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino in 2017.  It also won the Asian Future Best Film Award at Tokyo International Film Festival in 2016. Apart from that, the movie was nominated tons of times in other award-giving bodies. 


Starring Anne Curtis, BuyBust served as one of the few movies with a woman as an action lead. The movie revolves around a PDEA team conducting a drug bust in a Manila slum.

Realizing the mission is poorly executed, they find themselves trapped by settlers, attempting to escape by fighting their way out. 

The movie won Best Cinematography, Best Picture, Best Production Design, and Best Music at the 2019 Gawad Urian Awards. It also got Arjo Atayde winning Movie Supporting Actor of the Year, Jay Halili as Movie Editor of the Year, Steven Vasagas, and Whanni Dellosa as Movie Sound Engineer of the Year at the 2019 PMPC Star Awards for Movies. 

Hintayan Ng Langit

Starring Eddie Garcia and Gina Pareño, they portray ex-lovers who live together in an apartment room in Purgatory. Lisang is a woman who died in her 60s and remained in Purgatory for two years due to making trouble with other souls who died. She later meets Manolo, her ex-lover, who recently passed away. 

Garcia won Best Actor while Dan Villegas received the award for Circle Competition – Audience Choice Award at the 2018 QCinema International Film Festival. Ana Lou Sanchez won Indie Movie Production Designer of the Year at the 2019 Star Awards for Movies. 

Kalel, 15

Starring Elijah Canlas, he portrays fifteen-year-old Kalel who goes through several issues at the same time. This includes suffering from HIV and the stigma attached to it, the youth’s carelessness when it comes to sexual interaction, the heavyweight consequences of growing up with a troubled parent, and the Christian double moral. 

Canlas won Best Actor in several award-giving bodies for this film, includes the Jury Award at the 2020 Asian Film Festival Rome, the 2020 FAMAS Awards, and the 2021 Harlem International Film Festival Award. Aside from Best Actor, it also won Best Screenplay at the 2020 Gawad Urian Awards. Director Jun Lana also received the Jury Prize Best Director at the 2019 Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. 

Lola Igna

Starring Angie Ferro, she portrays the titular character of Lola Igna. She is a foul-mouthed and stubborn woman who is eager to die. However, her neighbors remain hung up on her winning the title of the oldest living grandmother in the world. Her long-lost great-great-grandson, an aspiring vlogger, wants to latch on to the now-famous grandma. But, he ends up giving her a new reason to live. 

The movie received a lot of recognition at the 2019 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. It won Best Film, Best Screenplay, and Best Musical Score. Aside from that, Ferro received bagged the Best Actress award for her wonderful performance. 

Metro Manila

The film stars Jake Macapagal, Althea Vega, and John Arcilla.

It revolves around rice farmer Oscar who flees from poverty life and moves with his family to Manila.

Unfortunately, they fall victim to the hardened locals until he finds work with an armored car company. 

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Director Sean Ellis won Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Film at the 2013 Amazonas Film Festival. The movie also won the Critics Award at the 2013 Hamburg Film Festival, the Audience Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and Best Screenplay at the 2015 Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award.

Pamilya Ordinaryo

Starring Hasmine Kilip and Ronwaldo Martin, they portray a teenage couple (16-year-old Jane and 17-year-old Aries) who live on the streets have a newborn baby.

In their situation, Aries steals a phone from a foreigner in a taxi while Jane sells it to smuggled phone vendors. They resort to desperate measures when, one day, someone kidnaps their baby. 

The 2016 Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival recognized them with numerous awards including Best Film, Best Editing, Best Actress, Best Director, and the NETPAC Award. It had a special mention as the winner of the New Asian Cinema at the 2016 Five Flavors Asian Film Festival. 

Director Eduardo W. Roy, Jr. also received the Student Jury Prize at the 2016 Tokyo FILMeX. Aside from that, the 2017 Star Awards for Movies recognized them with Indie Movie of the Year, Indie Movie Director of the Year, Indie Movie Actress of the Year, and Indie Movie Editor of the Year. 

Cementing her mark, Kilip won Best Actress at the 2016 Asia Pacific Screen Awards, the 2017 FAP Awards Philippines, the 2017 Gawad Urian Awards, the 2016 Hanoi International Film Festival (where Roy, Jr. also won as the Best Director), the 2017 Harlem International Film Festival (where Martin also won the Best Actor). 

Which award-winning Filipino movies would you watch next?

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