This year’s President of the Jury at the Marrakesh Film Festival was John Boorman, the British director, screenwriter and producer who is a connoisseur of world cinema.
So what is he looking for in the films shown at the festival?
“Personally I’m looking always in the festival for originality, experimentation; after all you can see normal standard cinema every day in the cinemas but when you go to a festival you expect to look and see perhaps new ways of making films, new ways of looking at things. And of course the great thing is that you see films from all over the world and you get an insight into life in those country. I mean we have films from Taiwan, from India and from the Czech Republic,” he said.
Euronews correspondent at the festival, Kawtar Wakil said: “Away from the competition, the master class which is held every year is a major attraction. It offers people a unique opportunity to share the best practices and processes of some of the greatest directors in the world.”
Darren Aronofsky, the American director of such blockbuster movies as ‘Requiem for a Dream’ and ‘Black Swan’, hosted one of the master classes.
In the audience for that event was student Pascale Marine. “The master class offered me a lot. I learned about many aspects of the industry – writing, directing, everything that happens in a film. It is important for me because I love movies,” she said.
Students and movie buffs packed the master class listening intently to the panel of experts. Jean Pascal Montero, a French college lecturer, was among them.
“I have come with a class from a college in the Lyon region where they specialise in films. They have worked for a year to finance their trip to Marrakech. They are living the dream coming to the festival, and attending the master class for them is huge and for me listening to Mendoza talking about the cinema was just something else.”
This year the Festival paid tribute to a Moroccan producer, Abouobayd Karim. He is the CEO of Dune Films, the leading English production company of films and television programmes in Morocco.
“It is a pleasure to be here and it gives me great satisfaction to have my work recognised by Moroccan producers. Domestic production I can tell you is in good shape when you consider we have between 20 and 30 films,” Karim said.
In the presence of personalities from the world of the cinema the Moroccan producer received a standing ovation when he was presented with his award.