The grand prize the gold Star of the Marrakech international film festival was awarded Saturday to the austrian Sudabeh Mortezai for his film Joy during the great closing ceremony. This is the Italian actress Monica Bellucci, who handed him the trophy for this film, which tells the story of a young nigerian victim of sex trafficking in Vienna. The Tunisian Nidhal Saadi received the best actor for Look at me , directed by Nejib Belkhadi. And it is the German Aenne Schwarz, who received the prix d’interprétation féminine for its game in Alles is gut (“all is well”), directed by Eva Trobish.

The 17th edition of the festival was placed under the sign of the big stars with the presence of Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese, to promote the reputation of the festival and the ultra-touristy city of Marrakech. Evenings of tribute honored the careers of the two holy monsters, friends since childhood, and that of the filmmaker, the French Agnès Varda, who came with his accomplice, the artist JR, the co-producer of his documentary roving Faces, villages .

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Attention to the production of morocco, the festival has also welcomed the career of the director Jilali Ferhati, one of its deans, and dedicated a section of its guidelines to a “panorama of cinema in moroccan”. Invited for the closing of the festival, Monica Bellucci moved to Friday night on the big square of Jemaa el-Fna square, black world, for the screening of the film Asterix and Obelix: mission Cleopatra . A “unique experience” for her.

“The competition is good for football”

The american film director James Gray was chairing a jury as cosmopolitan as joint involving actresses indian Ileana d’cruz and american Dakota Johnson, the filmmakers lebanese Joana Hadjithomas, moroccan Tala Hadid and british Lynne Ramsay, as well as with the filmmakers, French Laurent Cantet, and mexican Michel Franco, and the German actor Daniel Brühl. “The competition is good for the game of football, to the cinema, I’m not sure”, he said before inviting the 14 filmmakers in the official competition, to stand to the applause of the public.

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The Festival opened on November 30, after a year away, partly due to problems of organization following the departure of its director, Mélita Toscan du Plantier, after fourteen years of practice. The producer has retained a consultant position in the organizing committee, while the artistic direction was entrusted to Christoph Terhechte, who has worked at the Forum of the Berlin film Festival from 2001 to 2018.

The festival has welcomed this year a new component, the platform of the “Workshops of the Atlas’ intended to accompany the filmmakers of Africa and the Middle East in their film projects. The american actress Robin Wright, is expected to be a tribute, cancelled his participation because of “professional commitments ” last minute”, according to organizers.