Culturally significant as the biggest event in the calendar of Morocco’s highly successful film industry, the Marrakech International Film festival brings together writers, actors and directors from many nations. Last year’s Marrakech Film Festival saw a number of Hollywood big hitters including Francis Ford Coppola, Harvey Keitel, Keanu Reeves and Martin Scorsese.
This year’s 11th annual Marrakech International Film Festival takes place between 2nd and 10th December.
With attendees from around the world, including several hundred from the media, the film festival is testament to the importance of the Moroccan film industry, based at the Atlas Studios outside the desert town of Ouarzate, which goes back as far as Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and beyond. More recent productions have been ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ and ‘Gladiator’ by Ridley Scott, a regular visitor, ‘Black Hawk Down’ and ‘Babel’.
This year the star of ‘Alien’ and ‘Gorillas in the Mist’, Sigourney Weaver, has been confirmed as president of the short film jury, having been previously honoured at the event in 2008. “I am looking forward with great anticipation to seeing the work of some talented young filmmakers in the Cinecoles competition. The Marrakech Film Festival is uniquely positioned to host the most established, as well as eagerly emerging filmmakers in this marvellous city where so many worlds meet,” said Sigourney Weaver.
Initiated by Prince Moulay Rachid, the Marrakech International Film Festival was started to “bring together emerging film talents from diverse Moroccan, African, Arab and international communities to network, share, support and critique each other’s work.”
This year, after previous tributes to the film industries of Spain, Italy, Egypt, Great Britain, South Korea and France, the festival pays tribute to The Golden Age of Mexican cinema.