Morbido 2017: Ceremonies, Awards, Stories And Festival Wrap-up

Contributing Editor; Toronto, Canada (@Mack_SAnarchy)
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Officially, Morbido wrapped up with the awards ceremony and closing night party last Tuesday. Public screenings have been running through to the end of this past weekend, giving opportunities for festival goers to catch up on buzz titles and other films out of competition this year. It has also unofficially given me the opportunity to reflect longer than usual on my latest visit to our familia from the Morbido Film Festival. 
 
 
The spectre of the earthquake from September 19th was still hanging in the air. As we spoke with our friends from the festival we heard their stories from that day and how the festival staff rallied together afterwards, putting festival prep on hold, and for the week after the quake they went out into their community to pitch in wherever they could. Some of the city still bears the scars from that day. An apartment building behind our hotel has been taped off and has to come down, jagged cracks running up its facade. You could see the tenants’ belongings in the windows of some of the lower apartments. Pending what route you took when walking to the festival venue you may have had to make detours to get around some blocks cut off for safety reasons. 
 
 
There were still some roads and arteries cut off to local traffic, for threat of these buildings collapsing, adding to the city’s woes of congestion. Our shuttle to the opening ceremony was taking so long, inching along, that we were contemplating ducking out to the nearest OXXO and grabbing ‘shuttle beers’ for everyone in the back. But everyone time we did we would lurch forward a few dozen feet, giving us a fleeting hope of on time arrival at the ceremony. 
 
 
Traffic woes combined with other concerns the festival was managing with on opening night pushed the opening ceremony back a while so improvisation was needed and the ceremony was cut back a bit. Marking the tenth anniversary of the festival the ceremony was themed around celebrations. Celebration of the Sun. Celebration of Spring. Celebration of Life. And Death to name a few. Our master of ceremonies Pablo Guisa Koestinger also found time to take a shot at your friend, Andrew, and the struggles of navigating the cobblestone streets and insurmountable curbs of Patzcuaro at the end of a very long mezcal fuelled night all those years ago during my first visit to Morbido. In all, it was a shorter more scaled-down ceremony than regular attendess have become used to because of time constraints but that did not stop our Master of Ceremony from dazzling the crowd with quick costume changes on stage, little people dressed up as devil babies, unicorns and flowers, culminating with a song and dance number with presenter Paloma Ruiz De Alda. 
 
 
The night also gave us the chance to catch up with our Morbido familia and share abrazos y besos. We were also meeting new friends from the LatAm film community, friends you share messages with for years online, finally in the flesh, made complete with a hearty handshake, warm hug, and another Spanish tradition I grew very fond of very quickly, the double cheek kiss.
 
 
A quick cocktail session after the opening ceremony was followed by presentations to Barbara Crampton and Roger Corman.The delightful Barbara Crampton was presented with a lifetime achievement award. The curtains pulled back to reveal Pablo in a costume that made his head appear off of his shoulders. Sequence Break's Graham Skipper came to the stage, dressed as Dr. Herbert West from Stuart Gordon's Re-Animator (Skipper plays the role in the musical version). 
 
 
Corman was in town to receive the first ever DOCTORADE HORRORIS CAUSA DEGREE. Koestinger would appear in a flowing red robe, similar to the one worn by Vincent Price in Corman’s The Masque of the Red Death. They were joined on stage by filmmakers Ted Geoghegan (Mohawk), Can Evrenol (Housewife), Paco Plaza (Veronica), his producer Enrique Lavigne and Morbido’s Tim Luna, all of them in other colorful robes. A reel was played celebrating Corman’s legacy and he was presented with his honor. Corman graciously accepted the honor and spoke very warmly and kindly of the festival, noting that friends of his before him, Landis and Dante, sang praises of the festival after their visits. 
 
Last Tuesday the festival officially closed with the screening of Issa López's jaw-dropping Tigers Are Not Afraid. Then all guests made their way to the José Luis Cuevas Museum for an evening of food, drink and awards. López's film took home two awards that night and though the kids from her cast were not at the cinema for the screenings they were in attendance to accept the awards for her stunning film. 
 
Complete list of winners ~ Lista de Ganadores MÓRBIDO FEST
 
OUTSTANDING LATINAMERICAN FEATURE FILM: Silver Skull 
Vuelven, Issa López (México)
 
OUTSTANDING GLOBAL FEATURE FILM: Silver Skull 
Hidden Reserves, Valentin Hitz (Austria)
 
MÓRBIDO-CINÉPOLIS DISTRIBUTION AWARD
Aterrados- Demian Rugna (Argentina)*
 
AUDIENCE AWARD GLOBAL FEATURE FILM: Golden Skull
La Quinceñera, Gigi Saul Guerrero (Canadá)
 
AUDIENCE AWARD LATINAMERICAN FEATURE FILM: Golden Skull 
Cygnus, Hugo Felix Mercado (México)
 
PRESS AWARD: Wooden Skull
 
Best Latinamerican Feature film
Vuelven de Issa López (Mex)
 
Best Global Feature Film
Cold Skin de Xavier Gens (Fran)
 
SPECIAL MENTIONS  
 
- La Región Salvaje, Amat Escalante (Mex)
- Los Olvidados, Luciano y Nicolas Onetti (Arg)
- Matar a Dios, Caye Casa y Alberto Pinto  (Esp)
(Gracias al Programa de la sociedad estatal Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) para la internacionalización de la Cultura Española (PICE).
- 78/52, Alexander Phillipe (USA)
- Trauma, Lucio Rojas (Chile)
 
SHORTFILMS AWARDS
 
Best Latinamerican Shortfilms 
 
Golden Skull: Morbido award Latinamerican Short Film
Se busca niñera, Pablo Olmos (Mex)
 
The Silver Skull: Outstanding Short film
La Peste, Guillermo Carbonell (Uru)
 
Special mentions:  
Julkita, Humberto Bustos (Mex)
Lucha, Eddie Rubio (Mex)
Kept, Jaime González (Colombia)
 
Best Global Shortfilm 
 
Golden Skull: Morbido prize Global Short Film
R.I.P., Caye Casas y Alberto Pintó (ESP)
 
The Silver Skull: Outstanding Short film
Skin for skin, Kevin D.A. Kurythink, Carol Beecher (CAN)
 
Special mentions:
 
What price freedom: The History of Apocalypse Cartoons Dean Packis / Dean Packis (USA)
Les Fines Bouches, Arnaud Tabarly (Fran)
Sound from the Deep Antti Laakso, Joonas Allonen (Finlandia)
Creswick, Natalie Erika James (Australia)
 
All in all, it was nice to be back at Morbido and deep in the CDMX for their tenth anniversary. They overcame the odds, remained strong through to the end and delivered an experience we will not soon forget. We got together with old friends and made many new ones along the way. Some wounds from the earthquake will take longer to heal but this annual gathering of the mad masses set our minds and hearts to brighter and darker things for a week. We at Screen Anarchy extend our utmost gratitude to Pablo Guisa Koestinger and his staff for their kindness, warmth and generosity. 
 
Amamos a nuestra familia Morbido!
 
More thoughts and memories await you in the gallery below! 
 
Film Reviews:
ATERRADOS Review
MEXICO BARBARO 2 Review
LA QUINCEANERA Review
TRAUMA Review
CLEMENTINA Review
WHAT THE WATERS LEFT BEHIND Review
 

Morbido's Master of Everything - Pablo Guisa Koestinger

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