One of the best indie films to appear on the festival circuit this year was Sean Ellis’s Metro Manila, a fantastic world cinema/heist-thriller crossover that debuted at Sundance in January. Filmed entirely on location in the Philippines (you can read about the shoot here), the film tells the story of a farmer who moves to the capital to work as an armoured car driver, where he becomes involved in a criminal plot. Made by a Brit, the film stars an all-local cast and is filmed entirely in the Tagalog dialect – all the more impressive given that Ellis doesn't speak a word of it. To give you an idea of how good this movie is, Metro Manila won the World Cinema audience award in Sundance, went on to be nominated as the British entry for 2013 Best Foreign Film Oscar (yes, we are eligible) and recently received five nominations at the prestigious BIFA awards, to be held next weekend.
In stark contrast to the film's good fortune, the recent destruction caused to the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan has caused the UN to estimate that 11 million people are now in urgent need of food, water and shelter. As a gesture of support, 12 Vue cinemas will be showing Metro Manila tonight, with all proceeds going to DEC’s Philippines Typhoon appeal. Says Ellis, “The people of the Philippines were tremendously supportive during the making of Metro Manila, and it’s only right that we should now use the film to raise money to help the victims of this terrible disaster.”
If you'd like to help out and see a great movie into the bargain, the charity screening of the 15-cert film takes place tonight (Thursday 28 November) at 7.30pm. You can see it at the following Vue cinemas:
• Piccadilly in central London
• Bristol Cribbs
• Edinburgh Omni
• Leeds Light
• Manchester Lowry
• Newcastle UL
• Camberley, Surrey
• Thanet, Kent
Tickets cost £10, and all of the proceeds will go to the Philippines appeal. The nationwide screenings are being additionally supported by UK distributor Independent Distribution, with materials supplied by Arts Alliance Media.
For more details and to book, visit the Vue website here.