MOTELX, in Lisbon, Portugal, is one of the top genre film festivals in Europe. A member of The European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation, European films that compete and win at MOTELX go on to vye for the top prizes in the Méliès Competition at the end of each year.
With the festival quickly approaching at the beginning of September they have announced their first wave of titles along with a slew of cultural events that is simply overwhelming. But first, what is going to play at MOTELX this September.
Audiences in Lisbon are in for a treat. Jenn Wexler’s The Ranger and Issa Lopez’s Tigers Are Not Afraid have been storming the festival circuit all year and for good reason, both a terrific in their own ways. Of course one of the big titles to come out of Sundance this year is Panos Cosmatos’ Mandy. And I will admit a complete and total bias to Demian Rugna’s Terrified/Aterrados, a true definition of ‘crowd pleaser’.
On to the cultural events because I do not believe that any other straight up genre or fantastic film festival has this much reach to its audience. MOTELX will mark the bicentennial of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein of course. There is the almost obligatory time spent to honor H.P. Lovecraft as well.
There are curated short film programs for kids, for parents who want to do parenting right and raise their kids in the world of fantastic cinema. Two programs for 6+ and 10+ have been put together to encourage offspring in love with genre cinema.
There are the workshops for youngsters as well, on use of light in film, a cooking class with a horror theme, then a chance for them to play an interactive game in The Cinema São Jorge, exploring the depths of the cinema not open to the general public, a chance to discover the guts of a working cinema! I cannot recall any film festival offering parallel programming for youngsters during a festival run. Nothing aimed at youngsters who love genre film anyhow.
MOTELX - LISBON INTERNATIONAL HORROR FILM FESTIVAL (12TH EDITION)
4-9 September 2018 (Lisbon, Portugal)
FIRST WAVE ANNOUNCEMENTS
2018 is not just any year for horror, it celebrates the bicentennial of the most important book in the history of horror genre: "Frankenstein". In addition to being a book that makes the transition from the gothic novel to the modern tale of horror, it is also among the literary canon composed by Bram Stoker, Poe, Wells, or Lovecraft, the only one written by a young woman named Mary Shelley. This milestone is not without relevance, given the times we are currently living in of feminist movements that are once again making their voices heard in the world of cinema, as was the example of the Weinstein scandal. MOTELX will mark this celebration with a series of special events: two film cycles at the Cinematheque for adults (terrace) and the younger crowd (Cinemateca Júnior), and an unprecedented debate about the writer and her work by a panel composed exclusively of women to be held at Cinema São Jorge.
The spirit of Mary Shelley will also manifest itself in the main sections of MOTELX. Of the first wave of titles we highlight films like "The Ranger" and "Tigers are not Afraid", directed by the North American Jenn Wexler and the Mexican Issa López, respectively. The former subverts the rules of the slasher, while the latter addresses the drama of street children in Mexico from a fantastic perspective.
Other great highlights of this first wave are the long awaited returns of Nicolas Pesce, director of "The Eyes of my Mother", with his new film "Piercing" a film that included a soundtrack with fados sung by Amália, and Panos Cosmatos whose new "Mandy" confirms the good indications left in "Beyond the Black Rainbow".
There will be the premiere of a short film veteran among the selection of features, that of Brazilian director Dennison Ramalho with the surprising "The Nightshifter", which also marks the return of Brazilian cinema to MOTELX a decade after Coffin Joe's appearance at the Festival.
The dead will also manifest themselves in films like "Ghost Stories", "Ghostland" or the unexpected Argentine "Terrified". Within the contemporary themes we have the Australian "Brothers' Nest" about the inevitable ruin of the family nucleus or the Danish "Cutterhead" that questions the European project in this post-Brexit period.
As for the parallel sections, we will have a different Lost Room. Instead of a theme, the section is entirely devoted to a filmmaker who has never been afraid to take on genre cinema in her works. We are talking about Solveig Nordlund. The director of "Low-Flying Aircraft" is on a shortlist of directors who have worked the work of J.G. Ballard, which includes Steven Spielberg and David Cronenberg.
Big Bad Wolf, the children's section, continues to focus on a pedagogical aspect involving activities and screenings spread-out through Cinema São Jorge, Cinemateca Júnior and Museu Coleção Berardo.
And let's not forget MOTELX's highest point, the Portuguese short film competition that continues to hold the highest money prize in Portugal that will be awarded this year to one of the 12 films selected.
Another highlight of this edition is the presentation of an H.P. Lovecraft anthology by the publisher Saída de Emergência, that will also present an exhibition of the illustrations in the book by Portuguese artists. The book presentation will be guided by Legendary Tigerman and Edgar Pêra, who are collaborating on a cine-concert in 3D around the work of the writer called "Lovecraftland", of which some excerpts will be premiered.
Still in the department of arts, one of the innovations is a circuit of different exhibits curated by Wasted Rita. The novelty is that the gallery of this event is the city of Lisbon itself and its iconic sites that lead to Cinema São Jorge. Another absolute novelty is the first Horror Game Jam in collaboration with the Lusófona University, a competition of creation of horror games that will last 48h. Another unprecedented moment in the Warm-Up will be a Drive-In screening in the center of Lisbon. These are the first of many new announcements that promise to make this year MOTELX's best edition yet!
ROOM SERVICE SECTION (FEATURES)
BROTHERS’ NEST (Australia, 2018) by Clayton Jacobson
CUTTERHEAD (Denmark, 2017) by Rasmus Kloster Bro
GHOST STORIES (UK, 2017) by Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman
GHOSTLAND (France/Canada, 2018) by Pascal Laugier
MANDY (USA/Belgium, 2018) by Panos Cosmatos
THE NIGHT SHIFTER (Brazil, 2018) by Dennison Ramalho
THE NUN (USA, 2018) by Corin Hardy – Opening Film
PIERCING (USA, 2018) by Nicolas Pesce
THE RANGER (USA, 2018) by Jenn Wexler
TERRIFIED (Argentina, 2017) by Demián Rugna
TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID (Mexico, 2017) by Issa López
LOST ROOM SECTION (FEATURES)
MY BABY / A FILHA (Portugal/Sweden, 2003) by Solveig Nordlund
LOW FLYING AIRCRAFT / APARELHO VOADOR A BAIXA ALTITUDE (Portugal/Sweden, 2002) by Solveig Nordlund
MÉLIÈS D'ARGENT SELECTION - SHORT FILMS
Ashes / Cinzas by Célia Fraga (Portugal, 2018, 13') - Rural Gothic Horror
In a rural environment in the 40s a young widow lives in deep loneliness and misery. Her routine consists of a succession of equal days, spent at home or in the field working. Everything becomes worse once a mysterious entity begins to torment her...
Augur / Agouro by David Doutel, Vasco Sá (Portugal/France, 2018, 14') - Eco Family Horror Animation
A harsh winter freezes the surface of a river by the house where two cousins live. Immersed in the cold wind that rises that day, the rudeness of their relationship grows, reaching its limit.
Calipso by Paulo A. M. Oliveira, Pedro Martins (Portugal, 2018, 15') - Zombie Siege Drama
A fungal epidemic dawned on Lisbon turning people into zombies. Citizens are locked in their homes, forced into quarantine. This epidemic caught the couple Bruno and Sandra in a critical phase of the relationship.
The Doll / A Boneca by Gonçalo Morais Leitão (Portugal, 2018, 13') - Fantasy Thriller
She was a child, this monster that adults manufacture with their sorrows.
Freelancer by Francisco Lacerda, Francisco A. Lopes (Portugal, 2017, 15') - Extreme Trash Extravaganza
Jorge, a freelance camera operator, faces a number of abusive clients and late payments on a daily basis. When he accepts to film what appears to be a simple wedding ceremony, it turns out to be a real nightmare.
Insanium by Rui Pedro Sousa (Portugal/UK, 2018, 15') - Horror Anthology
Two young brothers find a dead body while walking through the forest. This discovery will start a chain of events that will change their lives forever.
Mirror Mirror / Espelho Meu by Hugo Pinto (Portugal, 2018, 6') - Revenge Drama
Mariana is a painter who collapses after an unresolved relationship. She falls into a depressive spiral that evolves into vengeful acts. As if it were a painting, Mariana paints her story of suffering with blood.
Moscatro by Patrícia Maciel (Portugal, 2018, 12') - Fantasy Thriller
The world seen through Ana Lara's eyes. Between illness, manipulation and love, Ana Lara lives in constant confrontation with her own escape.
The Portrait / O Quadro by Paulo Araújo (Portugal, 2018, 13') - Period Ghost Story
In Lisbon of the 1940s, an accountant works in his office. Behind the desk, a large picture with the old portrait of a woman seems to disturb this man.
The Strange House in the Mist / A Estranha Casa Na Bruma by Guilherme Daniel (Portugal, 2018, 15') - Supernatural Horror
A lost pilgrim finds a strange house on the edge of the abyss and its mysterious occupant.
The Tell-Heart Tale / Coração Revelador by São José Correia (Portugal, 2017, 10') - Murder Ballad
A man takes care of another man. One is young, the other is old. The young man is crazy, the old man is the victim. When evil lies within you, the whole world will keep you wide awake.
Yet Another Christmas Tale by David Vieira (Portugal/UK, 2018, 9') - Experimental Yuletide Horror
Christmas night. A man wanders enigmatically through the city. He returns home and realizes that he is not alone.
Yorn microSHORTS is back!
Yorn and MOTELX are looking for smalls doses of horror filmed on cellphones, tablets, or smartphones. Don't be afraid to send your microSHORTS, through the app on our Facebook page and ask for votes in order to move on to the next phase. The best submissions among those gathering enough votes will be screened during the Festival.
BIG BAD WOLF SECTION (special programme for the younger crowd)
CASTELO RÁ-TIM-BUM (Brazil, 1999) by Cao Hamburger (Feature)
Short Scares This year, the Big Bad Wolf returns for three more screenings of short films at the Cinemateca Júnior, with a compilation for children from the age of 6 and another one planned for an audience starting from 10 years old. These short film screenings from around the world are intended to stimulate the imagination of the little ones and entertain the whole family with a great diversity of monsters and creatures, fantastic and imaginary worlds.
Between the Trees (UK, 2015) by Frank Harper
Big Game (South Africa, 2013) by Jarrod Hasenjager
The Decaf (South Africa, 2017) by Christopher Masuabi
Fruits of Clouds (Czech Republic, 2017) by Kateřina Karhánková
Doctor of Monster | Médico de Monstro (Brazil, 2017) by Gustavo Teixeira
Mr. Night Has a Day Off (Lithuania, 2016) by Ignas Meilunas
Nouvelle Cuisine (Spain, 2017) by Manuel Reyes Halaby
The Passenger (Australia, 2006) by Chris Jones
Space Cocks (Germany, 2016) by Janina Putzker
Beasts | Die Biester (Germany, 2017) by Sandra Schießl
The Face Shop (USA, 2010) by Noella Borie
Less Than Human (Denmark, 2017) by Steffen Bang
Lindholm Nocturne | Nachtstück (Germany, 2016) by Anne Breymann
Shock Therapy (UK, 2017) by Bali Engel, Matthieu Landour
Teddy's Nightmare (Poland, 2014) by Mateusz Staniszew
Zombriella (Germany, 2016) by Benjamin Gutsche
Maria Brinca à Sombra - Glow Workshop and Light Workshop
Light is a fundamental tool in horror movies. And although we are in constant contact with it, we will present two immersive experiences to explore new interpretations and creative possibilities. In these workshops we will have the opportunity to manipulate objects, play freely, make discoveries and create scenarios and stories.
Cooking Workshop by Rub-a-Duckie
In this workshop we propose an introduction to cake design with the decoration of several sweets, related to the theme of horror. Demonstrations will be made with the most commonly used techniques and tools, and all participants will be able to try out the same ones to turn simple cookies, cupcakes, cakepops or mini cakes into scary monsters and otherworldly creatures. All materials will be provided to test creativity and participants will be able to take home their creations and other gifts.
Paper Chase Game at Cinema São Jorge
The Cinema São Jorge will once again become a real haunted house with an itinerary that will take children through the projection rooms, the deck, and other areas never before seen by the general public, such as the cinema’s secret backstage area. They will have to discover clues in order to get to the next stage, and, along the way, find many funny objects, strange noises, and even (not so scary) monsters.
Frankenstein: The Heritage of Mary Shelley
In 2018, we celebrate the 200 years of the publication of "Frankenstein". 68 years before "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and 79 years before "Dracula". These three novels constitute the "Holy Trinity" of horror literature according to Stephen King. Its author, Mary Shelley, became known for this work and for being responsible for the posthumous publication of her husband's poems, Percy Shelley. But the truth is that we are dealing with the first modern Gothic novel that bridges the haunted castles of European folklore and the new scientific spirit of the industrial revolution, written by a young 19-year- old woman. But Mary Shelley did not come by through literary chance, she's the daughter of philosopher William Godwin and the first feminist in history, Mary Wollstonecraft. The monster was not only the result of a nightmare suggested by a stormy night, but it bears witness to the feminine condition at the time it was generated, through its author's own tragic experiences. It took two centuries to begin to give importance to Mary Shelley, to the detriment of Boris Karloff or James Whale, who elevated her creation to pop icon status. We have put together an all-female panel to discuss the place of this novel in the era of feminist movements and how it continues to be a current and pertinent reading.
Horror Game Jam - The first truly terrifying jam
We all know what happens in a horror movie when the group scatters... *SCREAMS* For this reason we want you to join us to ensure the survival of the creation of horror games for 48 chilling hours, to be held on the first weekend of September at the Lusófona University. We do not know what these dark nights hide, we only know that there will be a prize for those who survive. A more detailed program will be announced shortly. Sign up now! Horror Game Jam is an initiative of MOTELX - Lisbon International Horror Film Festival and Lusófona University.
(Complete line-up in August)
One of the Festival's highlights that almost needs no introduction. The fifth edition of MOTELquiz returns to the Cinema São Jorge e promises a quiz night that will test everybody's knowledge. A game of questions and answers about pop and geek culture, horror cinema (but not only) and many prizes and surprises for all. Entry is free and entertainment is guaranteed.
Senta-te e Joga On Stage!
Videogames have arrived to MOTELX! On this unprecedented night of the Festival, there will be a special guest on stage, many games, cooperation between friends, competition between enemies and, above all, a great prize for those who carry out the horror games that will fill the night.
With more than 40 screenings over the course of two years, this project gives new life to a format that refuses to be pronounced dead. The goal: to screen forgotten films from the video rental services, with a focus on ‘80s horror and science-fiction, the golden age of the VHS. After a full house screening in MOTELX 2016, the event is back with “Nasty Hunter” (or “Lady Terminator”), by H. Tjut Djalil (Indonesia, 1989), the low-budget recreation of “The Terminator” and with a female villain. A not to be missed exotic example of the ‘so- bad-it’s-good’ genre.
"The Most Chilling Tales of H.P. Lovecraft"
Launching of the anthology by the publisher Saída de Emergência
This special and illustrated edition of "H.P. Lovecraft's Most Chilling Tales" features a preface by António Monteiro and the participation of 22 of the best national illustrators. The book will be presented by the director Edgar Pêra and the musician Paulo Furtado (The Legendery Tigerman), where they will present excerpts from the film/concert project 3D LOVECRAFTLAND. Edgar Pêra, had already used Lovecraft's texts in other films, such as the recently completed "Caminhos Magnéticos" in which Ney Matogrosso invokes lovecraftian gods, but this is the first project entirely devoted to the master of cosmic horror.
Exhibit: "The Most Chilling Tales of H.P. Lovecraft"
The exhibit "The Most Chilling Tales of H.P. Lovecraft", with illustrations by Miguel Ruivo, Joana Afonso, Ricardo Cabral, Luís Cavaco, Darsy Fernandes, Bárbara Lopes, Cláudia Guerreiro, Carlos Fernandes, Marta Teives, Raquel Costa, Miguel Jorge, Ricardo Venâncio, Mosi, Miguel Mendonça, Leonor Pacheco, Filipe Alves, Diana Andrade, Fábio Vera, Filipe Andrade, João Maio Pinto, Luís Morcela and Luís Corte Real will launch at the Festival's opening. With the release of the anthology "The Most Chilling Tales of H.P. Lovecraft", we showcase the black and white works of 22 national illustrators to represent one of the greatest horror masters ever, who influenced so many authors of the comic book world, but also from literature and cinema, from Jorge Luis Borges to Michel Houellebecq or Stephen King, passing through South Park and the Pirates of the Caribbean.
Curated by Wasted Rita, Route 666 is the temporary name of MOTELX's new project that aims to bring to the Festival a new way to experience horror: an itinerant art exhibit. The gallery will be the city and its spaces. From Avenida da Liberdade to Cais do Sodré. Whoever follows the arts route at MOTELX this year will get to know some of the spaces that are part of everyone's imagination or will discover unique places that have in the meantime settled in the city and that will open doors to this route. Route 666 will bring together 10 artists whose work is an obscure reflection on life or that will frighten for being so blatantly positive.
Joan Cornellà, cartoonist, Axel Void, an urban artist known for his murals influenced by classical painting. Lisa Hanawalt, illustrator and cartoonist behind the animated series "BoJack Horseman". Mais Menos, the Portuguese that spreads horrors of political dishonesty. Jean Julien and Ruru Comix, or the Portuguese illustrator who conquered the Americans Waves with his drawings of the comic book "Negative Dad". These are some of the artists we will adapt, deconstruct and reinvent with and within the different locations.
With a short biography of the artists and an illustrated map of the route, the visitor will receive stickers as they visit the exhibition locations. This path culminates with a prize to which will only have access those who complete the course and, of course, the sticker booklet. Follow the Route!
For how long have we been dreaming about a Drive-In screening in the city center?
Drive Now, a car-sharing service by Via Verde, premium partner for MOTELX 2018, joins the Festival to amaze everyone. After the launch of a concept that changed the mobility panorama in Lisbon, Drive Now presents the first ever MOTELX Drive-In during the Warm- Up of the Festival's 12th edition. More than 200 Drive Now vehicles will be all over Lisbon waiting to be used for an unforgettable evening during this year's MOTELX.