Filipino movies have now gone beyond the confines of movie theaters, reruns on TV, and DVDs. The Movie Club app has just launched on a mobile platform. You can now watch Filipino movies TOTALLY FREE from your smartphone or tablet! No downloads, no monthly rental fees, no subscriptions, no borrowing. NO KIDDING!!!
The idea came to Geoffrey Chen as he analyzed the movie landscape in the Philippines and in the world. Globally, you’ve got Netflix and it has taken over the lives of so many. In the Philippines, the use of mobile phones, especially smartphones, has exploded in terms of usage as smartphones and data plans become cheaper. People use their mobile phones more and more for information and that includes watching videos. More wifi spots are being put up now and even the government is moving to put free wifi in critical public airports like airports and other places.
Geoffrey Chen described his friends’ experiences distributing movies. In the industry, there is something he said is called “3 days in, 3 days out”. Basically, a movie starts screening in moviehouses on a Wednesday and you basically have 3 days (till Friday) to make your numbers; otherwise, you are out of the cinemas. Geoffrey felt that this was not fair because most people go to movies on the weekend. Also, when there are disruptions like storms, cinemas are left almost empty and there is basically little chance for some movies, especially local films, to be extended beyond 3 days. So he and friends were looking for ways to distribute the films and find a good monetizing model. They began building the app a few years back but the internet was still quite slow then and buffering was frequent so they waited till the market and internet speeds allowed reasonable viewing experience. I guess this is the time!
While there are apps already like Netflix that allows one to watch foreign movies, there are none for Filipino movies. ABS-CBN already has its iWantTV app but these are limited to the shows aired by the network and access to its content is limited only to ABS-CBNmobile subscribers and SkyCable subscribers like me. Obviously, there is a need waiting to be answered which allows practically anyone with internet access to watch Filipino movies. The answer? The Movie Club app!
Here’s what you’ll see once you’ve downloaded the app.
We were also happy to meet Avid Liongoren, the director of one of the nicest Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) movies I’ve seen — “Saving Sally”. Yes, Saving Sally will be part of the Movie Club down the road but not just yet. According to Direk Avid, they are still making the rounds of film festivals abroad and one of the conditions to qualify is that the movie should not yet be distributed commercially. I loved, loved, loved watching Saving Sally (and so did my geek son) so this is one thing we will look forward to watching when it is on Movie Club. Meanwhile, there are enough current selections to whet my growing appetite for Filipino movies.
Download the Movie Club app now from Google Play. Spread the word to your family and friends.