The Marrakech Film Festival is back with a shower of stars

After two years of parenthesis due to the pandemic and the health restrictions that followed, the Marrakech International Film Festival is back in style with a leading international line-up, like a clever mix of glamor and cinephilia: the perfect cocktail.

Since its creation in 2001, the Marrakech festival has continued to grow to become one of the most important cinematographic events on the African continent, and an unmissable event on the map of international festivals.

The biggest names in cinema have come to Marrakech for 20 years, from Martin Scorsese to Francis Ford Coppola via Abbas Kiarostami, the Iranian master, many European filmmakers like Emir Kusturica, Milos Forman, Roman Polanski, Cristian Mungiu, without forgetting the greatest authors of the African continent and in particular Egyptian with among others Yousry Nasrallah, Tawfiq Saleh or Youssef Chahine…

Actors and actresses from all over the world are also welcome in Marrakech, and the particularity of the festival is to be truly without borders and to embrace all cinematographies, from Hollywood to Bollywood, passing of course by Egyptian and European cinemas. Bill Murray, Robert Redford, Forest Whitaker, Sir Sean Connery, Marion Cotillard, Sharon Stone, Jessica Chastaing or even Sigourney Weaver, the list is long! To which must be added the many Indian and Oriental actors whose names resonate like so many calls to travel, from Michelle Yeoh to Shah Rukh Khan via the Egyptian super star Yousra or the dazzling Indian model and actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas.

In short, beautiful people, from all over the world.

And this year, after two years without screenings, the International Festival of Marrakech returns in majesty with a set to make all cinema lovers salivate. The ceremony was clear proof of that.

At the heart of the program, several tributes are paid to four great personalities from four continents:

Tilda Swinton : the iconic Scottish actress presents several films including the rare Orlando (1992) almost marking his film debut and his last opus, The Eternal Daughter by Joanna Hogg, in competition recently at the Venice Film Festival, and the sublime Only Lovers Left Alive by Jim Jarmush (who will also be present in Marrakech for the occasion), the filming of which took place largely in Morocco.

James Grey: the great American filmmaker, who arrived for the opening, is given a retrospective of several of his films, with also the presentation in preview of his latest, Armageddon Timeleft unjustly empty-handed from the Cannes Film Festival where he was in competition.

Ranveer Singh: the mega-star of Bollywood cinema comes to Morocco with the whole team of his latest film, gully boybringing a breath of sulfur to the festival as the 38-year-old star who has millions of fans in the Indian subcontinent was this summer at the heart of a scandal after posing nude for an American fashion magazine, Paper. He was one of the winners on the applause meter for opening night, draped in a lushly colored ensemble.

Finally, Farida Benlyazid, Moroccan director, producer, screenwriter, writer and journalist who has traveled to the four corners of her country to show, tell and transmit the stories that populate it. A great lady of Moroccan cinema, finally a prophet in her country.

The organizers of the festival have seen the big picture, and in particular for the general public who can, as usual, enjoy free open-air screenings on the largest and most famous square in the city, Place Jeema El Fna, at at nightfall, when around the guinguettes mingle tourists and Marrakchi population in a joyful hubbub.

10 screenings, for each day of the festival with great popular films from all continents, from the very Bollywood Almost Love at Dunespassing by the last opus of the too cute creatures, Minions 2: Once Upon a Time Gru or the hilarious Moroccan comedy Al Ikhwane which has just been released on the screens of the kingdom.

Cinephiles are not left out because it is no less than 10 meetings, also completely free, with artists from the cinema world that the Marrakech Festival organizes under the generic title of “10 big names in cinema in free conversation in Marrakech”. With a level that has nothing to envy to the biggest international festivals. Name-dropping here is the best way to reflect the quality of the assembled set: Ruben Östlund, Palme d’Or at Cannes this year for Without filterJulia Ducournau, Palme d’or at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival for her unbreakable TitaniumJeremy Irons (need to introduce him?), Jim Jarmusch, icon of independent American cinema, Marina Foïs, one of the most interesting French actresses of her generation who plays in one of the most interesting films of the year, As Bestas by the Spaniard Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Leos Carax, living myth of French auteur cinema, Gabriel Yared, Franco-Lebanese musician and composer who won the Oscars, Ashgar Fahradi, Iranian filmmaker who won several awards at Berlin, Venice, Cannes and the Oscars, Julie Delpy, iconoclastic actress and director, and finally Ranveer Singh, one of the most famous Indian actors in the world with millions of fans, as we presented above.

Finally, and this is the heart of the event, the official competition, dedicated to discovery since it is only first or second films that have been selected by the good care of Rémi Bonhomme, figure of cinephilia and international festivals since he was also the general coordinator of La Semaine de la Critique, breeding ground for emerging talent.

President Paolo Sorrentino as well as the 8 other members of his jury (Diane Kruger, Susanne Bier, Vanessa Kirby, Oscar Isaac, Nadine Labaki, Taher Rahim, Justin Kurzel as well as Laïla Marrakchi, the aptly named) will present the gold star for the Best Film in competition on Saturday November 19 to decide between the 14 films from all continents, reinforcing what could be the motto of the Marrakech festival: discovery and diversity.

Marrakech International Film Festivalfrom November 11 to 19, 2022

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