22nd edition of the Tangier National Film Festival: Two films by Abderrahmane Tazi in the spotlight

At the Ahmed Boukmakh cultural center, in Tangier, on Friday evening September 16, 2022, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication, Mohamed Mehdi Bensaïd, presided over the opening ceremony of the 22nd edition of the National Film Festival of Tangier, which runs until September 24, 2022. This unprecedented edition marks the great return of the Festival after a two-year absence due to the Covid-19 epidemic. In his opening speech for this large-scale event, Mr. Bensaïd expressed his immense joy at seeing this high-flying cultural event reach a dimension that goes beyond national borders. Mr. Bensaïd took this opportunity to reiterate the unshakable position of his department, which “is devoting significant efforts to developing and flourishing the Moroccan film industry, through the creation of a cultural economy capable of competing with continental and even global productions” .

An audience of film lovers, directors and producers attended during this ceremony the special screening of two films, a short film and a feature film by one of the pioneers and veterans of Moroccan cinema, Abderrahmane Tazi. These are “Le Voleur d’images” (released in 1995) and “Le Grand voyage” (1981), which was restored in the new digital format by the teams of the Moroccan Cinematographic Center (CCM). It was also an opportunity to pay tribute to him.

The two films, two great classics of Moroccan cinema, were widely applauded by a passionate audience. The short film is thirteen minutes long. It goes back in time to sparkle the memories of a cinephile from his early childhood. Abderrahmane Tazi revealed the relationship children have with cinemas. Indeed, “The Thief of Images” had been specially produced to celebrate the centenary of cinema. It has been performed by stars of the Moroccan big screen, including Mohamed Afifi, Mostafa Mounir and Abdellah Toukouna.

“Le Grand voyage”, meanwhile, took the public on a fascinating journey from the south to the north of Morocco in the footsteps of a young driver. Encounters dot his path until his arrival in Tangier. The screenplay for this film is the work of the late Noureddine Sail, and it is interpreted by several emblematic figures of the Moroccan cinematographic field, including Ali Hassan and Nada Atbib.

The seventh art had a grand moment with the screening of these two films during the opening ceremony of the 22nd edition. An edition that brings together the big names of Moroccan cinema.

For Khalid Saïdi, acting director of the Moroccan Cinema Center (CCM), this 22nd edition of the Festival stands out for the programming of several feature films, short films and documentaries that have been produced over the past three years. A rich, diversified and impressive film production in number, a Moroccan exception in the midst of a health crisis.

Indeed, this 22nd edition is distinguished by the large number of films that will be screened. A total of 105 films produced since the last edition of the festival in 2020, including 28 feature films, 50 short films and 27 documentaries are scheduled.

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