The Marrakech International Film Festival has opted to postpone its 19th edition, citing the current global health situation. However, the Festival Foundation will continue to present its industry and talent development program with the fourth edition of the Atlas Workshops to be conducted online from November 22-25 with the support of Netflix. This follows a similar path to 2020 when the Moroccan fest was also canceled and the Atlas Workshops, which launched in 2018, were moved online.
The mission of the workshops is to support the new generation of Moroccan, Arab and African filmmakers through bespoke consultation, as well as to expose them to the international market through the presentation of their projects at a co-production market.
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In 2021, two winners of the Atlas Prize for Post-Production were selected for competition at the Cannes Film Festival’s Critics’ Week: Khadar Ahmed’s The Gravedigger’s Wife and Egyptian filmmaker Omar El Zohairy’s Feathers, which won the Grand Prize in that section. Tug Of War, by Tanzanian director Amil Shivji, had its world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
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Last year’s award winners also included Sofia Alaoui’s Among Us (Morocco), a project in development that won the Artekino International Prize of the Franco-German channel Arte; and the Atlas Prize for Post-Production, which was awarded to Nelson Makengo’s Rising Up At Night (Democratic Republic of the Congo).
A swank and multi-cultural affair that has often drawn Hollywood A-listers, the Marrakech Festival has also experienced some growing pains in recent years, having sat out 2017 due to a reported lack of sponsorship. It returned in 2018 under the stewardship of Christoph Terhechte as Artistic Director, who stepped down after two editions. Cannes Critics’ Week veteran Rémi Bonhomme was appointed Artistic Director in early 2020.
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