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The Philippines Metro Manila Film Festival will kick off on Dec. 25 with a competition section down anywhere from one to nine films.

Fest, which plays only locally made films and thus serves as a barometer of the state of the industry, has been dogged by controversy over the influence of the Lily Monteverde-controlled Regal Films.

This frame, Regal accounts for four of the nine in competish, after fielding five out of 10 last year.

Lineup is heavy on fantasies and sci-fi pics, including “Enteng kabisote 3,” a fantasy helmed by Tony Reyes and distribbed by OctoArts Films and M-Zet Prods., that is tipped as a B.O. winner.

Fest’s competition lineup consists of “Kasal, kasali, kasalo,” directed by Jose Javier Reyes; “Ligalig” (Anxiety) (Cesar Montano); “Matakot ka sa karma” (Jose Javier Reyes); “Enteng kabisote 3” (Tony Reyes); “Tatlong baraha” (Three Cards) (Toto Natividad); “Super noypi” (Quark Henares); “Shake, Rattle and Roll 8” (Mike Tuviera, Topel Lee, Rahyan Carlos); “Mano po 5: Gua ai di” (Joel Lamangan); and “ZsaZsa Zaturnnah: Zhe Moveeh” (Lamangan).