Finally, ‘Mamasapano’ on Netflix starting 1 December

Atty. Ferdinand Topacio is elated that his 2022 Metro Manila Film Festival movie Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told will start streaming on Netflix — for one year, in all territories — starting 1 December.

The movie tells the tragic story of the 44 Special Action Force soldiers who perished during a clash with Muslim rebels during their operation against a wanted terrorist in the municipality of Mamasapano in Maguindanao del Sur in 2015. The film stars Edu Manzano, Aljur Abrenica and Paolo Gumabao.

“We reached out to Netflix and offered the movie. Initially, may mga issue sila kasi nga (they had issues because) it’s a political movie, highly political. Hindi naman natin maipagkakaila ‘yon (We cannot deny that),” Topacio said.

“But then we talked to them and explained to them [that] this is an important movie and the critics agreed with us na magandang addition ito sa roster of movies ng Netflix (this would be a good addition to the roster of Netflix movies),” he added.

Sabi ko, modesty aside, ito ‘yung pambato namin doon sa mga (I told them, modesty aside, this is our counterpart against) Korean movies and even Turkish movies na big-budgeted. Sabi ko, subukan n’yo naman para makita nila na ang Pilipinas ay hindi lamang rom-com, may action din tayo (Try it out so they can see that the Philippines is not only good at rom-coms, we also have action movies).

“It’s not that we have anything against rom-com. I love rom-com,” Topacio stressed, naming Sharon Cuneta’s Dear Heart and Nora Aunor’s Kung May Gusot, May Lusot among his favorite local romantic comedies.

Tips to local producers

Asked for tips for other local producers now that his film outfit, Borracho Film Production, has successfully penetrated streaming, Topacio said:

“All you need to do is to reach out sa regional director nila. Although talagang very stringent ang standards nila, they were very helpful for us to be able to enter the market. I would like to express my thanks to Mr. Vitto Lazatin and the Netflix team for helping us out in our initial venture.

They also expressed interest in future projects. Maganda po ‘yang break (It’s a good break) for Filipino movies kasi swarmed na po ‘yung Netflix ng Korean, Taiwanese, Indian movies.”

Producing Mamasapano has opened Topacio’s eyes into movie production, which he now feels very passionate about. His film outfit, he said, will expand with more movies in 2024.

“We’re in the midst of a reorganization. We’re going to have a new office in Makati. Kaya
nag-iipon na kami ng mga
scripts (That’s why we are collating scripts). May mga nagsasabi sa amin na may storyline na sila (There are people pitching to us their storylines). Keep them coming,” Topacio said.

Borracho Film Production will not only produce films, it will also launch new actors and actresses.

At the recent mediacon for Mamasapano, the company introduced some of its talents like Anyah Koh, Stella Blanca, Luna Bella, Fiona Phoebe, Tala Zaldivar and former sexy star Barbara Milano.