Cannes: 108 Media/Paladin Take U.S. Rights to 'Metro Manila'

Metro Manila

United Kingdom, Philippines (Director: Sean Ellis, Screenwriters: Sean Ellis, Frank E. Flowers)

Seeking a better life, Oscar and his family move from the poverty-stricken rice fields to the big city of Manila, where they fall victim to various inhabitants whose manipulative ways are a daily part of city survival. Cast: Jake Macapagal, John Arcilla, Althea Vega. World Premiere

Sean Ellis' thriller, set in the Philippines, won the audience award for world dramatic cinema at this year's Sundance.

Distribution partners 108 Media and Paladin have acquired all North American rights to Sean Ellis’ thriller Metro Manila, winner of the audience award for world dramatic cinema at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

The film follows a poor rice farmer in the Northern Philippine mountains, who moves his family to Metro Manila in search of a better life and then becomes involved in a web of intrigue.


Ellis produced, directed, photographed, and co-wrote the screenplay with Frank E. Flowers based on Ellis’ original story. Mathilde Charpentier also produced, and Ellis, Celine Lopez and Enrique Y. Gonzalez served as executive producers.

108 CEO Abhi Rastogi and Paladin president Mark Urman negotiated the deal with Abigail Walsh, head of sales at Independent, which is handling international sales, and Jessica Lacy, on behalf of ICM partners, which reps Ellis.

“Metro Man is a smashing thriller--as smart and stylish as it is suspenseful—that I found impossible to shake-off.  We look forward to working with Sean on its release and, even more so, to sharing it with audiences,” Urman said. Rastogi commented, “This is undoubtedly one of the most exciting films to have emerged on the festival circuit this year, and we are confident that moviegoers and media alike will be blown away by it.”

Independent also has completed deals for the film for France (Haut et Court), Spain (Festival Films), Scandinavia (NonStop), Japan (New Selects), Middle East (Front Row), Latin America (HBO), Hungary (Vertigo), Greece (Seven Group), Ex Yugoslavia (Cinemania), Singapore (indies Entertainment) and the Philippines (Captive).