FULL PROGRAMME 16th edition

MOTELX 2022 opens with “Bodies Bodies Bodies”, putting Gen Z in danger, and world premieres “The Open Body” with Victoria Guerra and José Fidalgo.
Seven days and more than 100 films make up this historical programme for MOTELX’s 16th edition, with a journey through the universe of horror coming from the most diverse corners of the planet, between world and national premieres, cine-concerts, the launch of an unpublished book, masterclasses with Masters of Horror, workshops, a dedicated programme for children, and a mandatory stop through the past and present of Portuguese horror production. The beginning of MOTELX’s 16th edition is fast approaching.

 From 6 to 12 September, at Cinema São Jorge and other memorable locations of the capital, the Lisbon International Horror Film Festival will celebrate genre cinema in its multiple aspects and, as always, mix it with various artistic expressions.

This year, distinguished guests, such as the Italian horror master Dario Argento or the American filmmaking duo Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson will mingle with the audience for these long-awaited seven days. It is up to “Bodies Bodies Bodies” (USA, 2022) to open this year's edition, on 6 of September. Directed by Halina Reijn, the second feature film by this Dutch actress is a generation Z slasher about a group of wealthy young people who plan a party that goes terribly wrong. In the Room Service section, in addition to the already announced “Dark Glasses”, presented by the director himself, the legendary maestro Dario Argento (8 of September), or “Final Cut”, by Michel Hazanavicius, “Something in the Dirt”, a film directed, written and starring Americans Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson will also be presented at Festival. A unique opportunity to meet this respected independent filmmaking team, who have recently ventured into the mainstream market with “Synchronic” and Marvel’s “Moon Knight”.

Also not to be missed, is the national premiere of “Polaris” (Canada, 2022), by Kirsten Carthew, a post-apocalyptic film inspired by ecofeminism and the urgency of a significant cultural and sustainable change, described by the director as the “Mad Max” of the Arctic, and “Candy Land” (USA, 2022), by John Swab, a hellish road trip about sex, religion and violence. In this pack are also “Satan's Slaves 2: Communion” (Indonesia, 2022), by Joko Anwar, “Ashkal" (France, Tunisia, Qatar, 2022), by Youssef Chebbi, “Saloum” (Senegal, 2021) , by Jean Luc Herbulot, and “Parsley” (Dominican Republic, 2022), by José María Cabral. With a major focus on women directors this year, the Méliès d'argent - Best European Feature competition will host the world premiere of the Iberian co-production "The Open Body" (Spain, Portugal, 2022), by Ángeles Huerta, a folk horror with Portuguese actors Victoria Guerra and José Fidalgo, “Nightsiren” (Slovakia, Czechia, 2022), by Tereza Nvotová, and “A Banquet” (United Kingdom, 2021), first feature film by Ruth Paxton. The remaining European cinema in competition includes the already announced “My Grandfather’s Demons” (Portugal, 2022) by Nuno Beato, the world premiere of “Wolf Child” (Portugal, 2022) by Frederico Serra, “Wolfkin” (Luxembourg, 2022), by Jacques Molitor, and the psychological horror of the highly disturbing “Speak No Evil” (Denmark, Netherlands, 2022). Other essential moments of MOTELX’s 16th edition are the screenings of “O Hotel da Noiva” (Portugal, 2007), by Bernardo Cabral - a mythical film shot in the Azores -, in a special cult screening, “Inferno Rosso: Joe D' Amato on the Road of Excess” (Italy, 2021), by Manlio Gomarasca and Massimiliano Zanin - a documentary about the versatile Italian director Joe D'Amato -, in the Doc Horror section, and “The Seed” (United Kingdom, 2021), by Sam Walker, with “Deadstream” (USA, 2022), by Joseph and Vanessa Winter, for the return of the Festival’s Double Bill screening.

On 10 September, MOTELX proposes a special evening with the FILMar project, taking place between Cinemateca Portuguesa and Cinema São Jorge, where fear of the ocean can be faced through five films (two feature films and three short films), and a debate, with the support of the EEAGrants 2020-2024 programme and the collaboration of the Norwegian Embassy in Portugal.

A few days earlier, on 7 September, at Teatro São Luiz, in partnership with Casa Bernardo Sassetti, the first Portuguese horror film, “Os Crimes de Diogo Alves” (1911) by João Tavares (1883-1971), will screen accompanied by an original score signed by Bernardo Sassetti (1970-2012) and performed by a combo from the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa, under the guidance of Professor Desidério Lázaro. After the cine-concert, a conversation about composing for silent films will take place, with Desidério Lázaro, Portuguese guitarist Tó Trips, and pianist Filipe Raposo, moderated by Inês Laginha.  At Cinema São Jorge, the new Association of Women in the Cinema and Audiovisual Industry (MUTIM) will host a debate based on the first film directed by a woman in Portugal, “Três Dias Sem Deus” (1946), by Bárbara Virgínia (1923-2015), with the participation of Luísa Sequeira, author of the documentary road movie about the filmmaker who stood out during the dictatorship.

Also at Cinema São Jorge, the MOTELquiz returns (8 September), an epic trivia night to test your knowledge of horror cinema and pop culture, with prizes and surprises in the mix (entry is free, but requires pre-registration at inscricoes@motelx.org).

In order to ensure the best possible kick-off to MOTELX, three unmissable events of free entry, with the support of Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa, will take place from 1 to 3 September, during our Warm-Up period: “A Sinfonia das Trevas - 100 years of Nosferatu”, an immersive sound and visual experience, by Theatre Company Primeiros Sintomas, which celebrates the centenary of F.W. Murnau’s work (1 September, at Convento São Pedro de Alcântara), the New Zealand mockumentary “What We Do in the Shadows” (2014) by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, at the open-air screenings (2 September, Largo Trindade Coelho) , and “O Fauno das Montanhas” (Portugal, 1926) by Manuel Luís Vieira (1885-1952), in a FILMar cine-concert, with music performed live by the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa (3 September, Museu de Lisboa - Palácio Pimenta). In the words of artistic directors Pedro Souto and João Monteiro, “Sixteen years since the foundation of MOTELX, we can finally say that the highlight of this edition is Portuguese horror cinema”.

Accompanying the launch of the book “MOTELX’s Lost Room - The Films of Portuguese Horror (1911-2006)”, there is “the exhibition of silent films, the premiere of “My Grandfather’s Demons” and the world premieres of “Wolf Child” and the Spanish co-production “The Open Body”. If we add to this the return of the giallo maestro, Dario Argento, and the best horror cinema of today, we will undoubtedly have another great MOTELX, this year without pandemic restrictions”, they conclude. Tickets will be up for sale next week. 

Here is the full programme of MOTELX’s 16th edition, taking place from 6 to 12 September, in Lisbon.
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