EXCLUSIVE: Watch the ‘Smaller and Smaller Circles’ web series

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

The "Smaller and Smaller Circles" web series digs deeper into the lives of the serial killer’s victim’s via reportage by investigative journalist Joanna Bonifacio (Carla Humphries). Screenshot from TBA STUDIOS

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Adapting a beloved novel for the big screen is a monumental task. It’s only inevitable that several subplots, characters, or entire chapters will fall by the wayside, and the film adaptation of F.H. Batacan’s “Smaller and Smaller Circles” is no exception.

But in order to flesh out some of the meatier parts of the story, director Dean Colin Marcial created a companion web series to Raya Martin’s film adaptation. The five-episode web series, co-written by Shinji Manlangit, digs deeper into the lives of the serial killer’s victim’s through the reportage of investigative journalist Joanna Bonifacio (Carla Humphries).

“I think of the web series as an adaptation in a different format,” says Marcial. “But in the same vein as the feature film and leaning into the social undercurrents of the Philippines. It's a window into F.H. Batacan's Manila of 1997, and I hope by recontextualizing her observations about Philippine society then, we can echo their resonance in a whole new light.”

The episodes can serve both as a prequel and a supplementary watch if you’ve already seen the film. It features episodes focused on each of the victims, through a series of interviews.

The scene-stealing Erlinda Villalobos appears on the second episode, reprising her role as the mother of a murdered young boy. Nonie Buencamino also appears briefly to provide a biting perspective on the cycle of incompetence and abuse that the film tackles.

“I think [F.H. Batacan’s] novel and the film are more relevant than ever, and in distributing these shorts, we can invite the audience to, 'Look Closer' at their environment,” says Marcial.

Watch the first episode below and stream the rest of the series here.


"Smaller and Smaller Circles" is now showing in theaters. Visit the film's official Facebook page for listings.