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MOTELX Awards 2017: “Thursday Night” by Gonçalo Almeida receives the Méliès d’Argent/Award for Best Portuguese Horror Short Film; Stefan Ruzowitzky’s “Cold Hell” wins the Méliès d’Argent/Award for Best European Horror Feature

The 11th edition of MOTELX – Lisbon International Horror Film Festival came to a close this Sunday, after six days that saw thousands of people flock to Cinema São Jorge, Teatro Tivoli BBVA, Museu Coleção Berardo and Cinemateca Júnior.
“Thursday Night” by Gonçalo Almeida was named as the big winner of the MOTELX Award for Best Portuguese Horror Short Film/Méliès d’Argent 2017. The jury - actress Maria João Bastos, musician Carlão and director Can Evrenol – decided to award this short film for its “story, direction, photography and actors”, adding that “it was a film that left a big impression, that we consider unique and that will certainly remain with us for a long time”. An animal ghost story with just animals, “Thursday Night” was inspired by Brian Eno’s album “Thursday Afternoon”. The jury also decided to give a Special Mention to “The Silence and Afterwards” by Guilherme Daniel, considered “quite promising in terms of storytelling and cinematography”.Carlão and director Can Evrenol – decided to award this short film for its “story, direction, photography and actors”, adding that “it was a film that left a big impression, that we consider unique and that will certainly remain with us for a long time”. An animal ghost story with just animals, “Thursday Night” was inspired by Brian Eno’s album “Thursday Afternoon”. The jury also decided to give a Special Mention to “The Silence and Afterwards” by Guilherme Daniel, considered “quite promising in terms of storytelling and cinematography”.

The MOTELX Award for Best Portuguese Horror Short Film/Méliès d’Argent gives the biggest money prize for shorts in Portugal. The winner receives 5000€, plus 5000€ in post-production services by Kino Sound Studio and a weekend at Belver Hotels. Since its creation in 2009, around 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, “Thursday Night” is also automatically nominated for the Méliès d’Or Award, given by the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation (EFFFF) this November in Trieste.MOTELX’s main objectives: to encourage the production of horror films in Portugal. By winning the Award, “Thursday Night” is also automatically nominated for the Méliès d’Or Award, given by the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation (EFFFF) this November in Trieste.d’Argent gives the biggest money prize for shorts in Portugal. The winner receives 5000€, plus 5000€ in post-production services by Kino Sound Studio and a weekend at Belver Hotels. Since its creation in 2009, around 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, “Thursday Night” is also automatically nominated for the Méliès d’Or Award, given by the European Fantastic Film Festivals Federation (EFFFF) this November in Trieste.

In the international competition, “Cold Hell” by Stefan Ruzowitzky won the MOTELX Award for Best European Horror Feature/Méliès d’Argent 2017. A “clear decision” for the jury – critic Kim Newman and actors Rogério Samora and Iris Cayatte – due to “its contemporary relevance, exciting and imaginative action and excellent performances by the whole cast”. “Cold Hell” is a political thriller set in a multicultural Germany which tells the story of a young Turkish-born taxi driver and a serial killer. An “outstanding film which combines elements of the serial killer thriller with horror”, this is the latest film by Ruzowitzky, who won the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film 2007 for “The Counterfeiters”. The director and the actress Violetta Schurawlow were at MOTELX’s Closing Ceremony to receive the Award.MOTELX’s Closing Ceremony to receive the Award.

The Best European Horror Feature Award was given for the first time in 2016 and this year there were 8 films in competition. “Cold Hell” succeeds “The Noonday Witch” by Jiří Sádek and is nominated for the Mélies d’Or Award together with the winning short film “Thursday Night”.

NOTES

Gonçalo Almeida

Gonçalo Almeida is a director born and raised in Santiago do Cacém, a small town in the south of Portugal. Almeida studied Graphic Design and worked as freelancer before he moved to London to study Cinema at the London Film School, where he specialised in Film Direction. Since then he has been directing short films and music videos in Portugal and in the United Kingdom.freelancer before he moved to London to study Cinema at the London Film School, where he specialised in Film Direction. Since then he has been directing short films and music videos in Portugal and in the United Kingdom.

Guilherme Daniel

Guilherme Daniel graduated in Image Studies by Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema in 2012 and since then has been working as a Director of Photography in short films. He has written and produced "Maria", "Ermida" and "The Silence and Afterwards", which he also directed.

Stefan Ruzowitzky

Stefan Ruzowitzky was born in 1961 in Vienna. He started working as a freelance director, writer and editor for television in 1987, producing documentaries, comedy and live shows. In the early nineties Stefan started directing music videos for bands like The Scorpions, No Mercy and Justin Timberlake/’N Synch and received a nomination for "Best Video“ at the MTV Awards. In 1998 "The Inheritors" became a hit in festivals like Telluride, New York Film Festival and Toronto, winning more than 20 international awards. "The Counterfeiters", written and directed by Stefan, won the Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film 2007. After the commercially successful children‘s movie "Lily The Witch", Stefan started working in the US with films such as "Deadfall" and "Patient Zero".
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