The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) opened its long-awaited local streaming platform, JuanFlix, on Nov. 11. Offering quality content for local and international film enthusiasts, the platform curates mostly homegrown feature and short films for audiences to discover and enjoy.
Originally known as the FDCP Channel, it rebranded to JuanFlix: The FDCP Channel, or just Juanflix, to make local cinema more accessible to the Filipino viewer with the platform’s new features. Subscribers to the platform can select among the Free, Monthly, and Annual subscriptions priced at ₱49 per month and ₱499 per year. Local content can be streamed on computers, tablets, and mobile phones, making JuanFlix flexible to access FDCP’s library anytime, anywhere.
Decades of Filipino movies are lost in time, only with a few getting picked up by different local and international companies for streaming. To combat this, the new Filipino movie streaming platform Juanflix launched itself this year, including many local films from those way back as Genghis Khan to newer inclusions like Class of 2018.
As JuanFlix is newly released, one should expect that the roster of films isn’t plentiful yet. There are categories such as “Short Films, Big Impact,” which encompass both live-action and animated short films from Filipino filmmakers. There’s the “Pamanang Pelikula” category that covers old Filipino films that have left a mark in the local film industry. Moreover, there’s a separate and slightly confusing category titled “Classics” that overlaps with the “Pamanang Pelikula” category as well.
Besides the film categories, there is a pay-per-view option for currently two international films, Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Women Do Cry. If opting to watch these films, subscribers can pay an additional fee to view them. Similarly, the platform also comes with a “Special Features” tab containing announcements on the latest local film festivals, events, and other film-related activities.
The interface can be quite confusing; with the aforementioned categories out the way, its lack of genre categorization like that of other streaming platforms makes it so that users aren’t too sure what genre a movie could be without clicking on one.
Overall, Juanflix finds itself in competition with other streaming platforms, as Disney+ only recently entered the Philippines. One could only hope more films can come in and that Juanflix becomes a more user-friendly platform that lets anyone easily pick out a film for the night.
Recommendation films/short films
- Ang Bunga sa Tiyan ni Adam - Part of the “Short Films, Big Impact” category, this film focuses on issues like gender roles and abortion. Its premise consists of a 17-year-old boy named Adam finding out about his pregnancy. He confronts his longtime girlfriend, Lily, about the situation as it threatens his life.
- Replay - A short film welcomes you into a conversation between an OFW parent and her daughter in the Philippines that twists itself into the harsh reality of separation and loss in the pandemic.
- Signal Rock - A two-hour film that revolves around family, poverty, and romance in a small village of bad network connections and a culture of daughters leaving abroad. The story gravitates towards both slice-of-life and drama as we lean back for the island sceneries and grip the edge of the seat for its overarching plot with abusive marriages overseas.
Juanflix is a big step in preserving Philippine cinema. With a short but variable list of films, cinephiles and average movie enjoyers can surely expect to find a film perfect to wind down and enjoy Filipino stories.
Make sure to tune in, support the arts, and subscribe to Juanflix through their website.