This year's annual Metro Manila Film Festival officially starts today, Dec. 25, with eight official entries for moviegoers to choose from: Scenema Concept Int'l's ''El Presidente;'' ABS-CBN Film Productions' ''One More Try;'' Center Stage Productions/Solar Entertainment's ''Thy Womb (Sa 'Yong Sinapupunan),'' Regal Entertainment's ''Shake, Rattle & Roll 14: The Invasion;'' OctoArts Films, M-Zet Productions, Imus Productions, APT Entertainment/GMA Films' ''Si Agimat, Si Enteng Kabisote at Si Ako;'' Star Cinema/Viva Films' ''Sisterakas;'' GMA Network Film's ''Sosy Problems;'' and Quantum Films' ''The Strangers.''
Avid moviegoers will decide starting today, which one of these films will emerge the top grosser of the festival. A movie observer who wants to remain anonymous says his forecast of the Top 3 top grossers are ''Sisterakas,'' ''Si Agimat, Si Enteng Kabisote at Si Ako,'' and ''Shake, Rattle & Roll 14: The Invasion.'' He adds though that ''One More Try'' could be a dark horse in the No. 3 slot.
''El Presidente'' (directed by Mark Meily) stars Gov. ER Ejercito in the title role with Nora Aunor, Cristine Reyes, Cesar Montano, Christopher de Leon, John Regala, Baron Geisler, Allan Paule, Ronnie Lazaro, Emilio Garcia, Bayani Agbayani, Dennis Padilla and Felix Roco among the more than 50 stars in its cast; ''One More Try'' (Ruel S. Bayani) is topbilled by Dingdong Dantes, Angel Locsin, Angelica Panganiban, Zanjoe Marudo and Ms. Gina Pareño.
''Thy Womb'' has Nora Aunor in the female lead role with Bembol Roco, Lovi Poe, and Mercedes Cabral also starring; ''Shake, Rattle & Roll 14: The Invasion'' (Chito S. Roño) has Vhong Navarro, Dennis Trillo, Paulo Avelino, Herbert Bautista, Lovi Poe and Janice de Belen among others in its cast; ''Si Agimat, Si Enteng Kabisote, at Si Ako'' (Tony Y. Reyes) stars Bong Revilla, Vic Sotto, Judy Ann Santos, Gwen Zamora, Sam Pinto, Jose Manalo and Wally Bayola.
''Sisterakas'' (Wenn V. Deramas) has Ai Ai delas Alas, Vice Ganda and Kris Aquino in the lead roles with Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo; ''Sosy Problems'' (Andoy Ranay) stars Heart Evangelista, Rhian Ramos, Solenn Heussaff, Bianca King, Aljur Abrenica, Roderick Paulate, Tim Yap and Roberto Arevalo among others; ''The Strangers'' (Lawrence Fajardo) has Enrique Gil, Enchong Dee, JM de Guzman, Julia Montes, Johnny Revilla, Jaime Fabregas and Cherry Pie Picache.
An added category to this year's MMFF is the New Wave Section which has for entries the following: Quantum Films' ''Ad Ignorantiam'' (Armando Y. Lao), starring Kristoffer King, Ina Feleo and Kimmy Maclang; Pro Artist & Advertising's ''Gayak'' (Ronaldo Bertubin), starring Allan Paule, Evelyn Vargas, Richard Bradley and Sef Cadayona; HUBO Productions' ''In Nomine Matris'' (Will Fredo), starring Liza Diño, Biboy Ramirez, Al Gatmaitan, Glara Ramona and Tami Monsod; Kuwentista Production Inc.'s ''Paglaya sa Tanikala'' (Michael Angelo Dagnalan), starring Matteo Guidicelli, Micko Laurente, and Nicco Manalo; and Paper Boat Pictures' ''The Grave Bandits'' (Tyrone Acierto), starring Marti Sandino, San Juan Ronald Pacifico and Jill Palencia.
The 2012 MMFF Awards Night will be on Dec. 27 at the Meralco Theater in Ortigas Center.
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Stars Support Kipling And World Vision's Christmas Advocacy
Some of the country's brightest young stars showed their support for Kipling's ''A Brighter Christmas For a Brighter Tomorrow,'' a program that aims to provide additional funds to sponsor the education of children under the care of World Vision.
TV5 princess Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Kapuso teen actress Kylie Padilla, and ''PBB Teens'' ex-housemate Jessica Connelly joined the Belgian bag brand and the Christian development and advocacy organization's campaign to give underprivileged children more reasons to smile brighter this Christmas.
During the launch of ''A Brighter Christmas For a Brighter Tomorrow,'' an advocacy ad featuring the three young actresses was shown to inspire the general public to support the cause as well.
Hosting the launch event's program was World Vision celebrity ambassador and beauty queen Miriam Quiambao, who also encouraged the greater audience to shop for a cause.
For every purchase of Kipling bag until Dec. 31, P500 will be donated to World Vision's education program for the less privileged children. Shoppers not only get to take home sporty and glam bags from Kipling's Holiday Collection, but also help build a brighter tomorrow for the World Vision children.
With the joint effort of celebs, Kipling and World Vision, this very timely effort to spread the season's spirit of giving by providing children a better future has become brighter.
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Tidbits: Happy b-day greetings today, Dec. 25, go to former Speaker Jose de Venecia, Angelito Banayo, Jess Soriano, Antonio Gamboa, Salvador Rivera, LJ Reyes, US-based Dr. Numeriano ''Noel'' Tanopo III, Susan Smith and Josephine ''Banig'' Roberto, Ricky Gallardo, Jesusa ''Weng-Weng'' Romero, Mila S. Catan, Jeannette So, Jesus Hanzel Villafuerte, Rose Marychris M. Tabor, Crisanta Lumunsad, Noella D.C. Alegre, Ador Saluta, Camille Munoz, Joyce Ramirez and Bettina Carlos of ABS-CBN Star Magic...