Moroccan cinema won four awards at the 35th annual Alexandria Mediterranean Film Festival in Egypt.
Rabat – With six participating films and four awards, Moroccan cinema had a successful year at the 2019 Alexandria Mediterranean Film Festival. The festival ran from October 8 to 13 at the Sayed Darwish Theater in Alexandria, Egypt.
The Moroccan film with the most awards is “Nomades,” directed by Olivier Coussemacq.
Although Coussemacq is a French director, “Nomades” entered the competition as a Moroccan film as it was shot in Morocco, uses Darija, the Moroccan dialect of Arabic, and features Moroccan actors and actresses.
Coussemacq’s experience growing up in Morocco inspired the story.
The jury for the feature film category included Moroccan actor Mohamed Miftah. Coussemacq won awards for best feature film and best director, while Moroccan actress Jalila Talemsi won best actress for her role in the film. Talemsi won the same prize at the Alexandria festival in 2012.
Moroccan director Mohammed Rida Gueznai won the first prize award in the documentary category for his short film “Le vieil homme et la montagne” (the old man and the mountain).
Gueznai’s short film also won the “Adobe Best of the Best” award at the Zayed University Middle East Film Festival in April 2019.
The feature film “Ultimate Revolt” by Moroccan director Jilali Ferhati won the Special Jury Prize. Moroccan actress Fatima Kheir attended the festival as part of the jury panel.
Ferhati, born near Khemisset in 1948, has won a multitude of prizes at various film festivals throughout his career in cinema. The 17th Marrakech International Film Festival paid a special tribute to Ferhati in 2018.
Ferhati is known for his films Chateh Al Aftal Ad-daine (1991), Memory in Detention (2004), and From Dawn (2010).
Two additional Moroccan films participated in the festival: “l’Ombre d’un mur” by Aissaoui Abdelhafid and “Assia” by Malika Zairi. The two films were not among Moroccan prize-winners.