Ilocos Norte to hold 1st film fest, grand Halloween bash

LAOAG CITY – The provincial government of Ilocos Norte and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) have committed to launch a local film fest dubbed as “Ilocos Norte Film Festival” to promote local films and this province as a location for foreign and locally produced films.

In a three-page agreement, Gov. Imee R. Marcos and FDCP Chairman Briccio G. Santos, have agreed to unify their efforts as well as consolidate their resources in launching a three-day local film festival to be held simultaneously at the Robinsons Mall Movieworld Cinema 3 in San Nicolas and at the Mariano Marcos State University, City of Batac on October 25- 27.

Granados said that a workshop intended for film enthusiasts and budding filmmakers to be mentored by renowned TV comedian and film director Leo Martinez will also be held at the Robinsons Mall Movieworld Cinema 3 and  MMSU on the same dates.

“We have in our list about twenty full-length horror films and indie cuts which we aim to screen during the festival. All these films were directed by renowned Filipino film directors such as Mike de Leon, Soxy Topacio, and Kinanatay director Brillante Mendoza, who made it in the  62nd Cannes Film Festival main competition, and many more,” Granados said.

According to Gov. Marcos, hosting the film festival is an opportunity to all aspiring film makers in Ilocos Norte. “Filmmaking is a very lucrative venture, thus, budding filmmakers as well as enthusiasts should take advantage of this festival. Everyone is welcome, film screening and workshops are free of charge,” Marcos added.

Meanwhile, the opening of the film festival which is scheduled on October 25 will be the official kick- off of the week- long celebration of Ilocos Norte’s Halloween bash, the ‘Semana ti Ar-aria Festival 2011’ which will run until October 31.

The week- long celebration will be participated in by various local government units in Ilocos Norte while students from different state colleges and universities as well as secondary students prepare for the ‘biggest Halloween bash’ for 2011.

“Exhaustive preparation is now being undertaken by our event organizers through the Provincial Tourism Office, and my instruction is to make the occasion a grand tourism event and possibly the biggest Halloween celebration in the country, which will showcase a series of shows and events that will highlight the norms and practices of the Ilocanos in celebrating the Halloween,” said Gov. Imee R. Marcos.

According to Tourism Officer Ian Ree Racquel, the series of events will include Ilocos Rocks: Black Party on October 29 at the U-belt near Rizal Park; Beer-kini Fest at Plaza del Norte in Balacad Laoag City on October 30; and a grand Halloween costume parade dubbed as Parada Iloca-locana along Rizal Avenue in Laoag City on October 31.

“This effort is again, in conformity to our vision to make Ilocos Norte a prime tourist destination, not only in the country but to our neighboring Asian countries,”  Marcos added. (Florante A. Nicolas, PGIN- CMO)