Marrakech’s film festival opened with “At Eternity’s Gate” and welcomed film legends from Robert Pattinson to Agnes Varda last night.
By Mohamed Bella
Rabat – International film stars descended on Marrakech’s Palais des Congres to celebrate the opening of the 17th Marrakech International Film Festival, Friday, November 30.
Stars like academy award winner Guillermo Del Toro, “Twilight” saga star Robert Pattinson, renowned French film director Agnes Varda, Egyptian divas Laila Eloui and Youssra, American painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel, and Swiss actor Vincent Perez stepped foot onto the red carpet in Marrakech.
It was a night when the warmth and hospitality of Marrakech met the star-studded glamor and style of international cinema. A large crowd gathered outside the barricades to catch a glimpse of the international stars and burst into applause for each film star’s arrival.
The Marrakech International Film Festival’s opening ceremony kicked-off with a jury panel led by American director James Gray. Other members of the jury are actress Dakota Johnson, director Joana Hadjithomas, Mexican director Michel Franco, French director Laurent Cantet, British director Lynne Ramsay, Moroccan filmmaker Tala Hadid, Indian actress Ileana D’Cruz, and German actor Daniel Bruhl.
In his opening speech, Gray said, “I’m an American and in this moment I feel a high responsibility to at least try to represent the best side of us – the open, the hopeful and thoughtful, and enlightened side.”
Gray stated that being at the festival gives him the opportunity to be “connected to another culture, another point of view and another idea of the world.”
The opening ceremony was followed by a screening of Julian Schnabel’s ”At Eternity’s Gate.” The film, about the last years in the life of Vincent van Gogh played by Willem Dafoe, is a journey inside the painter’s mind.