ILOCANO HALLOWEEN. Ilocos Norte invites filmmakers to join its annual short horror film festival, named in honor of the Queen of Philippine Horror Movies, Lilia Cuntapay (pictured), to be held from Oct. 29 to 31, 2022. The festival is part of the week-long celebration of "Semana ti Ar-aria" from October 28 to November 2. (Image courtesy of Ilocos Norte Semana ti Ar-aria Festival FB page)

LAOAG CITY – Ahead of Undas, Ilocos Norte’s provincial government on Tuesday called on homegrown filmmakers to submit their entries for a short horror film festival named in honor of the late Lilia Cuntapay, famed Ilocana actress regarded as the "Queen of Philippine Horror Movies".

Xavier Ruiz, senior operations officer of the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office (INTO), said entries must be submitted on or before October 28 to get a chance to get screened at the Capitol Complex from October 29 to 31.

Now in its 11th year, the Lilia Cuntapay Short Horror Film Festival will bring back its in-person screening during the long weekend for the twin commemoration of All Souls' Day and All Saints' Day or Undas.

The film festival is one of the highlights of the province’s annual celebration of Semana ti Ar-aria (Ilokano Halloween bash) organized by the INTO to hone the skills and talents of amateur filmmakers and students by providing them an avenue to show the Ilocanos' rich culture and tradition of remembering the dead.

The provincial government supports the festival not only to discover new talents in the industry but also to promote various sites in the province for film tourism.

Under the contest guidelines, all entries must be original, unpublished, and solely created for this event. The film should last five to eight minutes and must be entirely shot in the province.

"Adaptations of any films are not eligible for consideration, although film parodies are highly welcome. Entries must be in Ilocano, Filipino, or English but are reminded that the use of profane speech is strictly prohibited,” said the contest guidelines advisory.

Like in previous years, awardees will receive trophies and cash prizes for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Effects, Best Actor, and Best Actress.

Meanwhile, from October 28 to November 2, various local government units and private sectors in the province will be holding their respective Halloween parties in addition to the provincial government’s featured events.

In Batac City, the city government will host a trick-or-treat and Marmana Festival on October 28 while a food strip featuring unique Ilokano food products will be set up at the Capitol complex on October 31.

A ghost parade, locally known as the “Parada Iloca-locana”, will also turn major streets in Laoag City into a ghost town on October 31 to attract more visitors.

The famous “Tumba Festival” in Paoay town on November 1 is also a crowd-drawing event in the province as it is one of the oldest Ilocano traditions to commemorate All Souls’ Day, akin to Mexico’s Dia de Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead.

The event portrays a celebration that is both solemn and jovial. It is meant to remember and honor the departed and provide a form of neighborhood entertainment. (PNA)