Don’t you just miss the simple pleasure of dropping by a theater anytime to watch films? It seems like we’ll have to make do without cinemas for a while, but it’s good to know that people in the film industry are working hard to bring the films to us. Cinema ’76 is a micro-cinema in San Juan which was visited by over a hundred people a day pre-pandemic for various screenings of indie and mainstream films. But, like all theaters in the country, they had to pause operations this year and step back as they navigate the new normal.
While some of our beloved micro-cinemas have been forced to shut down due to the pandemic (we will miss you, Cinema Centenario), Cinema ’76 is staying afloat as they wait for the day when they finally open their doors again. In the meantime, they’re encouraging everyone to stay safe and watch at home with Cinema ’76 @ Home. Catch free award-winning indie films from TBA Studios and more online.
Gayuma by Dir. Cesar Hernando
A dark tale of fatal obsession and erotic passion that centers on a young student artist mesmerized by a beautiful and mysterious figure drawing model in his art school.
Starring: Benjamin Alves, Elora Españo, Phoebe Walker
Gayuma was part of QCinema Film Festival 2015 and if you’ve missed it before, now’s your chance. As UP College of Fine Arts student Mike (Benjamin Alves) obsesses over a new model Stella (Phoebe Walker), his relationship with his girlfriend (Elora Españo) turns sour. But as Mike will soon discover, he has a price to pay and a secret to uncover for his dangerous obsession. Watch it here.
Matangtubig by Dir. Jet Leyco
A girl’s dead body is discovered and puts the whole town on trial while the former’s companion remains missing. The ensuing media spectacle slowly exposes the town’s secrets. As they celebrate its yearly festival by the lake, an unknowing sleeping evil unravels and haunts the townsfolk.
Starring: Amante Pulido, Sheilbert Manuel, Lance Raymundo
A shocking crime rocks the small town of Matangtubig which results in exposing a lot of injustice in the system. The grisly crime serves as an eye-opener on the reality of law enforcement, mass media, and ultimately the politics of it all. Many have likened it to 1990 American crime drama Twin Peaks since they have similar plots of murder and mystery. Watch it here.
Water Lemon by Dir. Lemuel Lorca
Water Lemon is set in the coastal town of Mauban, Quezon, where the mundane lives of a grieving widow, a socially handicapped genius, and a helpless grandfather interconnect to create bumps in their flatline lives.
Starring: Junjun Quintana, Tessie Tomas, Meryll Soriano, Alessandra de Rossi, Lou Veloso, Lui Manansala, Menggie Cobarrubias, and Daniel Marsh
Dir. Lemuel Lorca captures the slow and mundane small-town living in Mauban, Quezon. Here we have Filemon, nicknamed Lemon, the protagonist who has Asperger’s syndrome and is most often the talk of the town. The people in his life include his mother who seems to still be grieving the death of her husband and a childhood friend who’s the exact opposite of Filemon. We also get to meet a hopeless romantic computer shop owner and her grandfather who seems to be the only person who can understand Filemon. Watch Water Lemon here.
Write About Love by Dir. Crisanto B. Aquino
A young female writer teams up with a seasoned male writer to rewrite the script of an unfinished love story.
Starring: Miles Ocampo, Rocco Nacino, Joem Bascon, Yeng Constantino
Two writers with different writing styles and methods are tasked to work together to write a romantic film. Mainstream romance believer Female Writer (Miles Ocampo) has never truly been in love and has even recently suffered through heartbreak while Male Writer (Rocco Nacino) is an indie veteran scriptwriter. Their budding IRL relationship reflects on the relationship of their characters who go through ups and downs. Wait for available screening schedules and watch it here.
Lingua Franca by Dir. Isabel Sandoval
An undocumented Filipina immigrant paranoid about deportation works as a caregiver to a Russian-Jewish grandmother in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. When the American man she’s secretly paying for a green card marriage backs out, she becomes involved with a slaughterhouse worker who is unaware that she’s transgender.
Starring: Isabel Sandoval, Eamon Farren, Ivory Aquino, PJ Boudousque, Lev Gorn, Lynn Cohen
Isabel Sandoval’s Lingua Franca premiered at the Venice Film Festival in August 2019. It also won the top prize Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2020 Bentonville Film Festival. Sandoval doesn’t leave a clear ending, instead, she lets the viewer draw out the protagonist, Olivia’s future, and leaves it to the imagination. Lingua Franca will be available at Cinema ’76 @ Home from Nov. 20 to Dec. 5.
Freaks by Dir. Adam Stein, Zach Lipovsky
A bold girl discovers a bizarre, threatening, and mysterious new world beyond her front door after she escapes her father’s protective and paranoid control
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Grace Park, Amanda Crew, and Lexy Kolker
We’re way past Halloween but it’s a good thing we can still watch thrillers year-round. This American-Canadian sci-fi thriller might not be the high-budget production you’re used to, but it still delivers goose-bumps all the same. Prepare to be hooked with mysteries and twists! Watch it here for P199.
Here’s how you can watch
Visit Cinema ’76 @ Home and choose a title from the film guide. You can unlock free films right away but for those with purchases, you need to input your card details first. Link your Facebook account or sign up with your email to create an account. After unlocking your film of choice, you’ll have four days to begin watching. Once you click “Watch now”, you’ll have unlimited access for 48 hours.
Need more films?
Don’t worry, Cinema ’76 has got you! On top of letting Pinoys watch acclaimed films online, Cinema ’76 is working hard to open again soon and welcome cinephiles face to face. And it looks like they’ll be screening Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon too! Join their Viber community and follow them on Facebook for cinema-related posts and updates on new releases.
Do you miss watching movies at physical cinemas?