By Karima Rhanem
By Karima Rhanem
Morocco World News
Marrakech, November 30, 2012
The 12th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival opened on Friday Nov 30 in Morocco’s ‘red city’ with a special tribute to French actress Isabelle Huppert.
The Marrakech International Film Festival has paid tribute to Isabelle Huppert, one of the best French actresses of her time, who appeared in more than 90 film and television productions since 1971.
Huppert has appeared in 14 films that have been in the official competition at the Cannes Film Festival, and won the Best Actress Award twice, for Violette Nozière (1978) and La pianiste (2001). She is also the most nominated actress for the César Award, with 13 nominations. She won a César Award for Best Actress in 1996 for her performance in La Cérémonie.
“We are happy to welcome Isabelle Huppert, who marked the French cinema,” said the festival organizers before calling on stage the actress, who received a wide applause. “My real tribute is to meet the Moroccan public,” said actress Isabelle Huppert.
Moroccan producer Karim Abouobayd, American film director Jonathan Demme and Chinese film director Zhang Yimou are also scheduled for a tribute during this edition.
The festival will feature 141 films, including 15 in competition, and 12 out of competition.
The festival is paying a special tribute to Bollywood as it completes its 100 years. Prince Moulay Rachid noted that “At the dawn of the Centenary of Indian Cinema, it has brought together on stage the most outstanding stars of what is called Bollywood – this marvelous stairway to dreams, which is viewed every day by millions of fascinated eyes.”
Several Bollywood celebrities from Shah Rukh Khan and the Bachchans to Hrithik Roshan and Sridevi will be honoring the festival. A panorama of Indian films, emblematic of the Bollywood film production will be screened. These include but not limited to Shah Rukh’s Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Don 2 and Veer Zaara (2004) and Hrithik’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Jodhaa Akbar, Agneepath.
The Marrakech International Film Festival, on account of the historical and cultural predisposition of the city in which it takes place, aims to be a dialogue between cultures and a factor promoting mutual understanding through one reconciling expression: Cinema.
The first Marrakech event was a muted affair in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, while the second edition was still searching for its own identity. The third festival has proved a worthy movie meeting with a rich mix of filmmaking talent from different countries. The fourth edition has come to maturity, as HRH Prince Moulay Rachid said. He added that Marrakech Film Festival has become the “window of Morocco, a country firm in its values and resolute in its options while open to the outside world.”
Between the 5th and the 11th edition, the festival created a new concept in the Festival’s program: Previously unscreened film pieces by students from film schools and Institutes in Morocco are shown. The Festival has also set up a new short films competition called “CINECOLES” with its own jury. Cinema lessons are also offered to students and festival goers by professionals.
And as a matter of fact, throughout the new editions, Moroccan cinema is better and better represented, inside the official competition or in the “coup de Coeur” (“favorites”) section. For the first time, in this twelfth edition, two films are running the competition: Horses of God, a film by Nabil Ayouch, and Zero, directed by Nour Eddine Lakhmari. Outside the competition, Brahim Chkiri will present his film Road to Kaboul.
In the “Coup de Coeur” (“favorites”) section, the viewers will be given the opportunity to see again or watch for the first time three Moroccan films: Al Bayra, la vieille jeune fille (Al Bayra, the old maid) directed by Mohammed Abderrahman Tazi, Elle est diabétique 3 (She is diabetic) by the brothers Noury and Malak directed by Abdeslam Kelai. Moroccans are also part of the jury through Moroccan film director, actor and screenwriter Jillali Ferhati.
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