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MMFF 2012 raises its game

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LOCSIN (LEFT) AND MONTANO. Turn in memorable portrayals in “One More Try” and “El Presidente,” respectively.

Brillante Mendoza’s “Thy Womb” and Mark Meily’s “El Presidente” may not be the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival’s top crowd-drawers (“Sisterakas,” “Si Agimat, Si Enteng Kabisote at Si Ako” and “One More Try,” in that order, topped the box office on opening day), but their inclusion in the eight-entry lineup marks a timely changing of the guard that raises the annual film event’s game. Both movies should be patronized, because they characterize the type of innovative, unconventional features that the festival was conceptualized for in the ’70s.

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Film relies on historical facts

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SCENE from “El Presidente”

MARK Meily, director of the bio epic “El Presidente,” says everything about this film on the life of the Philippines’ first head of state, Emilio Aguinaldo, is supported by historical facts. “If it meets opposition, we’ll urge people to show documents to prove we’re wrong,” he told Inquirer.

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Metro Manila Film Festival

ER Ejercito in “El Presidente”

(We are running this guide to help moviegoers plan their holiday cinema tour. The 38th MMFF runs from Dec. 25 to Jan. 8, 2013.)

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E.R. hopes ‘El Presidente’ will replicate success of ‘Asiong’

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NORA Aunor as Maria Agoncillo in ‘El Presidente’

E.R. Ejercito is at it again. After bagging numerous awards for “Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story,” he’s all fired up for his 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival entry, “El Presidente.”

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Visiting ‘El Presidente’

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ER EJERCITO as Emilio Aguinaldo FACEBOOK PHOTO

Visiting the set of “El Presidente” at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan, transported me back to the Spanish era. Lead star ER Ejercito was in character (as Emilio Aguinaldo) when I chatted with him. “This film is grander in scale than ‘Asiong Salonga’—with a bigger budget, too,” he said, beaming.

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