Asian Pop-Up Cinema Season 12

Watch List (USA/Philippines) - Past Film

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"It is first and foremost a compelling drama that is carved out of the misfortunes of a mother struggling to survive in a society that oppresses her kind with intimidation, violence, and death." --Oggs Cruz, Rappler

In this crime thriller out of the Philippines, a widowed mother is forced to enter Manila's dark underworld of cops, criminals, and drugs after her husband is murdered in an extrajudicial killing.

Under current President Rodrigo Duterte, many in the Philippines have suffered the ramifications of his most draconian campaign promise: to put those involved in the drug trade behind bars, or worse...six feet under. Maria and Arturo, two reformed addicts living hand-to-mouth in one of the country's most dangerous barangays ("barrios"), are rounded up as part of a nationwide campaign to discourage drug use by offering a rehabilitation program to those who voluntarily surrender. Fearing the ramifications if they don't, the married couple complies and adds their names to the watch list of suspected users in exchange for promised government assistance. Days later, Arturo is found dead in the street, alongside a cardboard sign that reads "I'm a pusher; don't be like me." The cops have no leads as to the culprit, leaving a despondent Maria to fend for their three children as their savings rapidly dwindle. Unable to find a job and realizing she may be targeted next, Maria offers to work as a police informant in the streets but the lead investigator has other plans for her, forcing Maria to confront just how far she is willing to go to secure the safety of her own family.

Director Ben Rekhi

Ben Rekhi is an award-winning fiction and documentary filmmaker. After working with the Coen Brothers in the camera department of O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? Rekhi was hired by George Clooney to shoot the behind the scenes for CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND. Rekhi went on to produce the Independent Spirit Award-nominated feature film BOMB THE SYSTEM , direct the SXSW Audience Award winner WATERBONE, and write the English Dialogues for Ben Kingsley in the Bollywood film TEEN PATTI.  


In 2010, Rekhi joined film finance and distribution company IM Global and spent five years at the company during its rapid expansion. There, he was a producer on PLUSH for director Catherine Hardwicke (TWILIGHT) and producer Jason Blum (GET OUT, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, THE PURGE) and went on to serve as the Vice President of Acquisitions for Apsara Distribution, a joint venture between IM Global and Reliance Entertainment. Rekhi left the company in 2014 to run Jason Blum’s Hindi-language film slate in Mumbai, India and partnered with LUNCHBOX  producer Guneet Monga in her company Sikhya Entertainment.  


Rekhi’s second feature as director, entitled THE ASHRAM, stars Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo, Kal Penn, and Sam Keeley which was released by The Orchard in 2018. That same year he directed and produced a documentary series for PBS that profiles minority voters called THE HIDDEN VOTE. He is currently premiering his third feature film WATCH LIST, a crime thriller set against the drug wars in the Philippines, co- financed by Bron Studios (LEAVE NO TRACE, FENCES, BIRTH OF A NATION) and executive produced by XYZ Films (THE RAID REDEMPTION).  


Rekhi is also in production on THE REUNITED STATES, a documentary which profiles people who have dedicated their lives to promoting depolarization during these divisive times.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    94 minutes
  • Country
    United States, Philippines
  • Premiere
    West Meets East Showcase
  • Note
    Crime, Drama, Thriller, Tagalog with English subtitles
  • Director
    Ben Rekhi
  • Screenwriter
    Ben Rekhi, Rona Lean Sales
  • Cast
    Alessandra de Rossi, Jake Macapagal, Art Acuna, Jess Mendoza, Angeli Bayani, Timothy Mabalot, Micko Laurente