August 12, 2020
Every year, in September, horror cinema spreads throughout the city of Lisbon. MOTELX - Lisbon International Horror Film Festival has been bringing to Portugal the best films produced nationally and internationally since 2007.
Prestigious guests of honour such as George A. Romero, Stuart Gordon, John Landis, Coffin Joe, Dario Argento, Tobe Hooper, Hideo Nakata, Eli Roth, Brian Yuzna, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Roger Corman, Leigh Whannell, and Ari Aster have already joined the nearly 20,000 spectators each edition garners.
MOTELX is accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) and is member of the Méliès International Festivals Federation (MIFF), a federation that includes 25 festivals from 19 different countries and accounts for an audience of 800,000 people, and is also part of the Europe for festivals, Festivals for Europe (EFFE) community, allowing it to promote European and, in particular, Portuguese genre films at a wider range.
The Festival is a welcoming environment for up and coming directors, but also established ones, to showcase and renew their love for horror cinema. By creating an award for the Best Portuguese Horror Short Film (currently the highest money prize for short films in Portugal) it has prompted many to work for the sole purpose of participating in this competition and, if they win, of being selected for the Méliès d’or competition organised by the EFFFF. It also now includes a Best European Feature Film Award to run for the Méliès d'or annual gala and an Audience Award for the Festival's Room Service section.
For a more educational approach, MOTELX works in partnership with the Portuguese Cinematheque to explore and unearth lost gems of genre Portuguese cinema for its Lost Room section. It also created MOTELX Lab, a section dedicated to training where the general public can participate in workshops, free masterclasses and talks with national and international professionals related to the cinematographic art and specialised in horror about the most varied subjects such as sculpting and character development, special effects, the art of animation, or moulding, as well as scriptwriting, stunts, low budget filmmaking, specific areas of filmmaking, immersive horror, and the world of haunted houses.
The Festival also has a children’s section, the Big Bad Wolf, which aims to parallel the usual fairy tales shown to younger audiences to the universe of horror. MOTELX also offers several fun and educational activities and talks as a follow-up and understanding of what they have seen. Over the years, the Festival has programmed several painting and arts and crafts workshops, live dubbing screenings, cooking workshops, paper chase games through the hidden spots of the Cinema São Jorge (the Festival’s main venue), among many other events that have already occupied prestigious venues such as the Cinemateca Júnior and the Museu Coleção Berardo with the goal of introducing the fantastic world of horror to the young generation.
In its 13 years of existence, the Festival has grown exponentially and today, MOTELX is present all over the capital with open-air screenings, concerts, DJ sets, and even a drive-in by the river. It has marked its presence in several prominent locations of the country's capital, such as the Teatro Tivoli BBVA, Largo de São Carlos, Largo Trindade Coelho, Sabotage Club, Lounge Bar, Musicbox, and many others.
It is also increasingly concerned with showing every aspect related to the universe of horror for an inclusive approach; be it with masterclasses about the role of women in genre cinema to the use of horror imagery in music videos and the importance of modern technology in filming techniques (our microSHORTS competition has participants submitting films entirely made with a mobile phone or tablet), or other parallel events such as live cine-concerts with original music from local artists, live gaming shows with celebrity guests, or the publishing of short stories books in collaboration with Portuguese writers.
Today, MOTELX also includes a world tour of several films that have screened at the Festival over the years, which are invited to represent the best of horror cinema outside of Lisbon, and has already made its mark in Paris, Luxembourg, São Paulo, and the UK, as well as in several other cities throughout the country.
In 2020, MOTELX will begin with 3 Warm-Up days and continue with 6 days of Festival that will run from 8-13 September.