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 of having the possibility to enter the Méliès d’or competition organised by the MIFF. It also now includes a Best European Feature Film Award to also 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 15 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 2021, MOTELX will begin with 3 Warm-Up days and continue with 6 days of Festival that will run from 7-12 September.
- MOTELX AWARD - BEST EUROPEAN FEATURE FILM / MÉLIÈS D'ARGENT
The winning film is automatically selected for the international competition Méliès d’or for Best European Feature Film, a prize awarded annually by the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation (melies.org) to the best films made in Europe.
- AUDIENCE AWARD - BEST FEATURE FILM - ROOM SERVICE SECTION
- MOTELX AWARD - BEST PORTUGUESE HORROR SHORT FILM / MÉLIÈS D'ARGENT
The winner receives €5,000 in money prize, currently the biggest in Portugal for short films. On top of that, the winning film is able to enjoy an inspirational weekend at one of the Belver Hotels, partner hotel, and is automatically selected for the international competition Méliès d’or for Best European Short Film, a prize awarded annually by the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation (melies.org) to the best films made in Europe. Submissions for this section shall be made exclusively by filling the form available at www.motelx.org.
- microSHORTS AWARD
Portuguese shorts, up to 2 minutes, filmed with a mobile phone or tablet. The regulations for the microSHORTS Award, as well as the submission deadline, will be published separately on www.motelx.org. Submissions for this section shall be made exclusively by filling the form available at www.motelx.org.
I. GENERAL RULES
a) Méliès d'argent Award - Best European Feature Film;
b) Room Service (Official Selection - Feature films);
c) Doc Horror (Documentaries about horror films or related themes);
d) Retrospectives (Masters of horror and other cult figures);
e) Special Screenings (Anniversaries, restored prints, TV series);
f) Lost Room (A journey into the history of Portuguese genre film);
g) MOTELX Award - Best Portuguese Horror Short Film (Portuguese short films, up to 15 minutes, including co-productions with a majority of Portuguese participation);
h) International Shorts (Short films, up to 59 minutes, not produced in Portugal or Portuguese ones out of competition);
i) Experimental Short Films (Short films, up to 59 minutes, produced worldwide);
j) microSHORTS (Portuguese shorts, up to 2 minutes, filmed with a mobile phone or tablet);
k) Big Bad Wolf (Special programme for younger audiences).
2. The sections mentioned in a), b), c), g), h), and j) will select films produced in the year of the edition to which the film is submitted and in the previous year.
3. It’s not possible to submit films to the sections mentioned in d), e), and f).
a) Méliès d'argent Award - Best European Feature Film;
b) Méliès d’argent Award - Best European Short Film;
c) MOTELX Award - Best Portuguese Horror Short Film; d) Audience Award - Room Service Section;
e) microSHORTS Award*.
* The regulations for the microSHORTS Award, as well as the submission deadline, will be published separately on www.motelx.org.
5. The organizers may select a film for a different section from the one it was submitted to, cancel sections or create others not listed here, for programming purposes.
6. Submissions to MOTELX are made via FilmFreeway, using the link https://filmfreeway.com/MOTELX, except submissions of Portuguese productions or co-productions with a majority of Portuguese participation which shall be made exclusively by filling the form available at www.motelx.org.
7. The submissions will be completed when the Festival is granted access to the screener copy of the submitted film.
7.1 The screener copy must be exclusively provided through an online screening link.
7.2 The screener copies whose language is not English should be subtitled in that language, including those spoken in Portuguese. This is not mandatory in the case of films running for the MOTELX Award - Best Portuguese Horror Short Film.
8. Re-submissions are not accepted.
9. The deadline to submit a film for all sections, with the exception of the microSHORTS award, is 15 June of each edition’s year. Submissions received after that date will be considered for the following year's edition. The deadline for the MOTELX Award - Best Portuguese Horror Short Film was extended to 1 August.
10. The participants will be given notice if their films were selected or not until the end of July.
11. The participants are fully responsible for the content of the films they submit, namely in what concerns copyrights. Participants who are underage must have a written and signed authorisation from their parents or legal guardians.
12. Submissions of Portuguese productions or co-productions with a majority of Portuguese participation are exempt from paying submission fees.
III. MOTELX AWARD - BEST EUROPEAN HORROR FEATURE FILM / MÉLIÈS D'ARGENT
13. The winner of the MOTELX Award - Best European Horror Feature Film is the recipient of the Méliès d'Argent, being nominated to run for the international competition Méliès d'Or, promoted annually by the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation.
III. MÉLIÈS D’ARGENT AWARD - BEST EUROPEAN FEATURE FILM
13. The winner of the Best European Feature Film Award is the recipient of the Méliès d'argent, being nominated to run for the international competition Méliès d'or, promoted annually by the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation.
IV.MÉLIÈS D’ARGENT AWARD - BEST EUROPEAN SHORT FILM
14. All eligible European short films selected for the International Shorts section and all short films competing for the MOTELX Award - Best Portuguese Horror Short Film are considered for the Méliès d’argent Award - Best European Short Film. Are eligible short films with a maximum running time of 25 minutes (credits included).
15. The winner of the Best European Short Film Award is the recipient of the Méliès d'argent, being nominated to run for the international competition Méliès d'or, promoted annually by the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation.
V. MOTELX AWARD - BEST PORTUGUESE HORROR SHORT FILM
16. The MOTELX Award - Best Portuguese Horror Short Film aims to stimulate the production of horror films in Portugal, by honouring a short film screened at the Festival and giving also a Special Mention.
17. Horror films produced in the year of the edition to which the film is submitted to and on the previous year*, meeting all of the following requisites, will be considered for selection:
a) Portuguese productions or co-productions with a majority of Portuguese participation;
b) Maximum running time of 15 minutes (credits included);
c) Not released commercially in Portugal until the closing date of the Festival (previous screenings on other festivals will not automatically eliminate a film).
* Example: For the 2021 edition only films produced after 01/01/2020 can be submitted.
18. The winner will receive*:
a) €5,000 (five thousand euros) paid in a single installment;
b) An inspirational weekend courtesy of the Belver Hotels.
Other prizes may be added. These will be announced in due time on the Festival’s website and social media.
19. The juries of the Awards are composed of three individuals invited by the Festival's organisation.
20. No juror can have any sort of personal interest, direct or indirect, in any of the films running for the Awards.
21. The juries’ decisions are final.
22. The juries cannot give the Méliès d'argent awards to any short of feature film that has already received such an award at another Federation festival.
23. The juries’ decisions will be announced at MOTELX's closing ceremony and on the Festival's website, at www.motelx.org.
VII. SELECTED FILMS
24. If a film is selected, the following will be requested:
a) The copy of the film for screening;
b) Legal permits;
c) Credits list and synopsis;
d) List of festival in which the film was screened and awards received;
e) 3 high-resolution film stills;
f) 1 high-resolution photo of the director;
g) Director's biography;
h) A copy of all promotional materials available (poster, postcard, EPK, etc.).
25. The screening copy must comply with the following characteristics. 25.1 Image
a) Screening formats: 35 mm, DCP, or digital files;
b) The organisation might refuse to screen prints due to technical or quality reasons, in its sole discretion.
a) All films must have English subtitles, if they are not spoken in this language;
b) The festival will provide electronic Portuguese subtitles for foreign films;
c) The participants of Portuguese films in competition must provide prints subtitled in English. If the films are spoken in more than one language, the participants must ensure subtitles both in Portuguese and English when deemed necessary.
26. MOTELX is responsible for the insurance of selected films, from the moment of their delivery until their return.
27. MOTELX assumes all transportation costs of feature films, except in the event of them being sent to another festival, according to the conventions established between film festivals.
28. The directors/producers of films that receive an Award shall agree to mention MOTELX in all press and promotional materials produced after the closing day of the Festival.
VIII. CLOSING RULES
29. The submission of a film to MOTELX implies the acceptance of all the norms here present. Non-compliance with any of the clauses in the regulations may imply the rejection of said film.
30. These regulations are available in Portuguese and English. In case of doubt, the Portuguese version shall prevail.
31. MOTELX’s organisation will decide on any issues not covered by the current regulations.
Lisbon, 15 April 2021