“Zalava” picked for Lisbon horror film festival

TEHRAN – Acclaimed Iranian film “Zalava” is competing in the MOTELX – Lisbon International Horror Film Festival underway in the Portuguese capital.

Winner of the grand prize at the 36th Venice International Film Critics’ Week, “Zalava” is Arsalan Amiri’s directorial feature debut.

Amiri has co-written with Ida Panahandeh and Tahmineh Bahramalian the terrifying horror film, which presents a brilliant examination of faith, science and tradition based on stories told to him by his father.

In 1978, the inhabitants of a small village in Iran called Zalava claim there is a demon among them. Masud, a young gendarmerie sergeant who investigates this claim, encounters an exorcist attempting to rid the village of the demon. When he arrests the exorcist on charges of fraud, the villagers’ fear and anger escalate. Masud and his love interest, a government doctor, soon find themselves trapped in a cursed house, surrounded by villagers who believe they are both possessed by the demon.

LevelK, EG Entertainment, Remain in Light, Corinth Films and PT Falcon handle sales of the film in different regions of the world.

The film was also screened at the Overlook Film Festival, a celebration of all things horror held in the American city of New Orleans in June.

Amiri also won the award for best director at the 8th Duhok International Film Festival in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

The 16th edition of the MOTELX – Lisbon International Horror Film Festival opens on Tuesday with “Bodies Bodies Bodies” by American director Halina Reijn.

Sarah DeLappe has written the screenplay based on a story by Kristen Roupenian.

When a group of rich 20-somethings plan a hurricane party at a remote family mansion, a party game turns deadly in this fresh and funny look at backstabbing, fake friends, and one party gone very, very wrong.

The festival will run until September 12 with a program full of films, workshops, masterclasses and many activities for the younger audience.

MOTELX is the only Portuguese festival member of the Méliès International Festivals Federation (MIFF) and of Europe For Festivals, Festivals For Europe (EFFE).