A collection of must-see contemporary and classic Filipino directed films curated in partnership with Marie Jamora of Cinema Sala.





Directors: Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara

Year: 1976

Country: Philippines

Language: Tagalog / English Subtitles

Run Time: 1hr 39min


Corazon de la Cruz, a nurse in the Philippines is in pursuit of the American dream. In the face of American soldiers brutalizing her community, Corazon and her family turn a blind eye. However, when tragedy happens close to home, will they still be capable of looking the other way?

Digital restoration provided by ABS-CBN + Sagip Pelikula.

About the Filmmaker:

Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara started as a director for television before moving into film. Her work spans several decades and includes newscasting shows, documentaries, and television dramas. Aquino-Kashiwahara turned to film when the political regime following the Martial Law shut down most television networks. In addition to directing Once a Moth, which won Best Picture in the FAMAS Awards, as well as scoring the Best Director award, Aquino-Kashiwahara also directed Good Evening to Everyone/Magandang Gabi sa Inyong Lahat (1976) and Return the Day to the Sinful World/Ibalik Mo ang Araw sa Mundong Makasalanan (1978). Her other film credits include Let's Share the Night by Half/Hati Tayo sa Magdamag (1988) and Dear Diary (1989), to name only a few.




Directors: PJ Raval

Year: 2018

Country: Philippines

Language: Tagalog, English

Run Time: 1hr 33min


When Jennifer Laude, a Filipina transwoman, is found dead in a motel room and the leading suspect is a U.S. Marine, grassroots activists demand accountability. Three women intimately invested in the case — an activist attorney, a transgender journalist, and Jennifer's mother — galvanize a political uprising, pursuing justice and taking on hardened histories of U.S. imperialism. The ensuing case lays bare political tensions between the United States and the Philippines.

About the Filmmaker:

PJ is an award‐winning filmmaker and cinematographer whose work explores the overlooked subcultures and identities within the already marginalized LGBTQ+ community. Named one of Out Magazine’s “Out 100” and Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” PJ’s film credits include Trinidad (2008) and Before You Know It (2013), which follows the lives of three gay senior men, described by IndieWIRE as “a crucial new addition to the LGBT doc canon.” Before You Know It screened theatrically and broadcast premiered as the season finale of America Reframed on PBS, and was recently awarded the National Gay and Lesbian Journalist Association Excellence in Documentary Award 2016. Also an accomplished cinematographer, PJ shot the Academy Award‐nominated Best Documentary Trouble the Water (2008). PJ is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, 2016 Firelight Media Fellow, and a 2017 Robert Giard Fellow.



Director: Diane Paragas

Year: 2019

Country: USA, Philippines

Language: English

Run Time: 1hr 34min

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Rose, an undocumented Filipino girl, dreams of one day leaving her small Texas town to pursue her country music dreams. Her world is shattered when her mother is suddenly detained and deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Forced to flee the scene, Rose embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she searches for a new home in the honky tonk world of Austin, Texas.

About the Filmmaker:

Diane Paragas is an award-winning director, editor, cinematographer and producer of commercials, narrative features and documentaries. She owns and operates Civilian Studios a Brooklyn based production company. She is most known for her documentary, Brooklyn Boheme (2011), a feature length documentary about an African American arts movement that she made in tandem with writer and critic Nelson George, featuring Spike Lee, Chris Rock and Rosie Perez, to name only a few. After being the first documentary to open the Urbanworld Film Festival, the film was acquired by Showtime and went on to win the Black Reel Award for Best Documentary.



Directors: Mike De Leon

Year: 1980

Country: Philippines

Language: Tagalog / English Subtitles

Run Time: 1hr 44min

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Foursome lovers Johnny (Christopher De Leon) and his flame, the flight steward Melanie (Charo Santos), and Johnny’s friend Nonong (Jay Ilagan) and his sweetheart Nancy (Sandy Andolong), unwittingly get involved with warring Japanese and Chinese drug syndicates. Embroiled in the fracas, the two pairs of lovers uncover a plot by the syndicate that baffles them all.

Digital restoration provided by ABS-CBN + Sagip Pelikula.

About the Filmmaker:

Mike De Leon is a director, cameraman, producer and scriptwriter. He studied art history in Heidelberg, Germany, where many visits to a small film theatre awoke his interest in film. In the 1970s, he made his first short films and founded a production company, Cinema Artist Philippines. Ever since his début, The Rites of May/Itim (1976) he has been one of the most significant filmmakers in the Philippines.

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Cinema Sala is a bi-monthly screening series and workshop for Filipino and Filipino-American works, whether it be film, music, food, and beyond. Founded by director-writer-musician Marie Jamora in 2016, “Sala” is Filipino for “living room,” and is a tribute to the fact that the series began in her apartment living room and has always included a tradition of Filipino-food-based potluck as the “cost of admission.” 

Having immigrated from the Philippines in 2013, Marie missed the indie movie scene which she came from in Manila, where all the filmmakers were tight and shared their works with one another. She wanted to recreate that in LA. Cinema Sala’s mission is to curate and collaborate with all Filipino and Fil-Am artists, and some of their events have included: stand-up comedy with the Filipino/a sketch group “Sini-Gang;” live-audience-podcast-recording with “This Filipino American Life;” script readings at the 2018 LA Asian Pacific Film Festival; and even a magic show with Asian-American Magic Castle magicians, including the newest and first Filipina member Krystle Tabujara, performing close-up magic between the screenings. 

Marie Jamora began her career directing music videos during the golden age of the Philippine rock scene. After graduating from Columbia University with an MFA in Film, she returned to her hometown to direct commercials and television and was a university professor who mentored a new generation of filmmakers for nearly a decade. She was the show-runner and director of the first season of Project Runway Philippines, her first feature film, What Isn't There, premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival, and her last short film, Flip The Record, won the Grand Jury Awards for Best Narrative Short at Urbanworld and the St. Louis International Film Festival. Her stories often explore the rhythms of youth through music.

Most recently, Jamora was Executive Producer of Family Style, an Asian foodie show with Justin Lin's YOMYOMF and Warner Bros. Stage 13, in which she also directed all 12 episodes. She is finishing her newest short film, A Song For Myself, while also developing Flip The Record as a series. Jamora was named one of Five Visionary Asian-American Female Filmmakers in Kore Magazine's 'New Hollywood' issue and is the first Filipina director to be accepted to the prestigious AFI Directing Workshop for Women, class of 2020.