MotelX 2020: MATA, PELICAN BLOOD Key Award Winners This Year's Festival

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MotelX 2020: MATA, PELICAN BLOOD Key Award Winners This Year's Festival
One day left in this year's MotelX Film Festival and the winners were announced last night. From our conversations with some of the staff at the fest this past week MotelX has gone off without too many glitches. 
 
Pulling off an physical edition in these times is a crazy undertaking for anyone. The festival was not fully operational this year, having to forego some of their well respected cultural events in the name of safety, but that did not stop them from putting together a cracking good program and pulling off a few surprises like the midnight Q&A with Takashi Miike. 
 
This year's short and feature film winners will go on to Sitges to participate in the Méliès d’argent 2020 competition. Fábio Rebelo’s Mata and Katrin Gebbe's Pelican Blood won the respected categories. Gebbe's Pelican Blood played at Sitges last year after its debut at Venice and run through other spots on the circuit like TIFF and Bucheon. Who knew one year later it would return to Sitges for a go at the awards?  
 
Fábio Rebelo’s Mata wins the MOTELX Award for Best Portuguese Horror Short / Méliès d’argent 2020
 
Katrin Gebbe wins the MOTELX Award for Best European Horror Feature / Méliès d’argent 2020 with Pelican Blood
 
The winners of Lisbon’s International Horror Film Festival have been announced. In an atypical and challenging year, the public returned in force to MOTELX, which took place with enhanced health and safety measures. The 14th edition of Portugal’s leading genre Festival surpassed expectations, hosting over 20 sold out screenings.
 
Mata by Fábio Rebelo was named as the big winner of the MOTELX Award for Best Portuguese Horror Short / Méliès d’argent 2020 at the Festival’s closing ceremony. The story of a couple lost in a forest who reunite with horrific consequences, Mata is, in the words of a jury comprised of producer Pandora da Cunha Telles, director João Pedro Rodrigues and actor Margarida Vila-Nova, “a solid film that plays with the imaginary of fantasy literature, plunging us into a space where we have to face our fears”. “Brief and unassuming”, they add, “Mata reveals a promising young director”.
 
The jury further decided to award a Special Mention to André Carvalho’s The Great Parody, a “visceral film” in which a director falls asleep while watching TV and dreams about selling his soul in exchange for fame and glory. “Transgressing irony”, the short film stunned the jury with its “brutality” and its “touching courage, in the threshold of castration and self-representation”.
 
The MOTELX Award for Best Portuguese Horror Short Film/Méliès d’Argent gives the biggest money prize for shorts in Portugal, 5000€. Since its creation in 2009, over one hundred Portuguese horror short films have had their world premiere at the Festival, thus achieving one of MOTELX’s main objectives: to encourage the production of horror films in Portugal. By winning the Award, Mata is automatically nominated for the Méliès d’or Award, given by the Méliès International Festivals Federation in a ceremony that will take place this October in Sitges, Spain.
 
In the international competition, Pelican Blood by Katrin Gebbe was awarded the MOTELX Award for Best European Horror Feature / Méliès d’argent 2020. This recognition comes in a year that featured a record number of films directed by women. The second film by the German director (a co-production of Germany and Bulgaria) explores the agony of a mother who adopts a child with disturbing behavior. “A unanimous choice” by a jury comprised of writers Pedro Mexia and Filipe Homem Fonseca and actor Carla Galvão, who applaud “a film of permanent tension about maternal instincts and mental health, about loss and sacrifice, about evil as a protection – a film that makes an appeal to courage and perseverance against all logic and all hope”.
 
The Best European Horror Feature Award was given for the first time in 2016 and this year there were 7 films in competition. The jury highlighted the diversity of the selection: “geographical diversity, gender diversity (3 films directed by women and many stories in which women are not just victims but strong protagonists), diversity in styles and subgenres and diversity in the dialogue with contemporary cinema (with David Lynch’s labyrinths, with Yorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth, with Alien)”.  Pelican Blood follows last year’s winner Why Don’t You Just Die! by Kirill Sokolov and is nominated for the Méliès d’or Award together with the winning short, Mata.
 
The 14th edition of MOTELX comes to a close tomorrow, 14 September, a day in which it will be possible to see Pelican Blood and repeat screenings of some of the Festival’s most popular films, as well as the documentary Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street and Jordan Peele’s instant classic Get Out
 
Our thanks to MotelX for letting ScreenAnarchy participate from this side of the pond. We may still have a couple more reviews to go after the festival wraps up tonight. 
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Katrin GebbeNina HossYana MarinovaMurathan MusluSebastian RudolphDrama

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