FFE Magazine

‘Metro Manila’: from 2 truck drivers to the Oscars

by FFE Entertainment News staff

Another film about the Philippines is making heads turn in international fests.

Sundance winner ‘Metro Manila,’ a film about a man and his family who move to the big city in search of a better life, is the British Academy of Film & Television Arts’ (BAFTA) entry to the Oscars for the Best Foreign Language Film category.

British director Sean Ellis said his film was inspired by an argument he once saw on the streets between two truck drivers. The film showcases a full-Filipino cast handpicked by Ellis himself. Indie actress Althea Vega said that working with the director was rigorous because ‘He’s a perfectionist.’


British director Tom Ellis with actors Jake Macapagal and Althea Vega. Photo source: Peter C. Marquez

Title actor Jake Macapagal meanwhile said that the January win at the Sundance has been his good luck charm, and that he hopes the film will open more doors for him and for other actors. Meanwhile, Angelina Kapati said Ellis was able to capture the Filipino concept of ‘kapit sa patalim’ – an idiom which means taking huge risks when faced with few options – through the film.

As for fears that the film may have reinforced negative connotations about the Philippines, Kapati said ‘Sometimes you just have to hammer at the truth and Sean Ellis did a very brilliant work.’

Macapagal added ‘Because of the images and the way Sean had presented this, this is a little bit different.

‘[But] it’s poetic and I can guarantee that after the film, you can count it as one of the better films that you’ve seen.’

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