Marrakech film festival returns after Covid cancellations

The Marrakech International Film Festival returns to the Moroccan tourist hub this month, with organisers hoping to woo star-struck fans after a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

British actress Tilda Swinton is set to attend, with Italian director Paolo Sorrentino heading up the jury.

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The festival, running from November 11-19, features emerging directors from across the world who will “shape the cinema of tomorrow”, according to Prince Moulay Rachid, who presides over the festival’s foundation.

Sorrentino, whose film “The Great Beauty” won a foreign-language Oscar in 2014, is joined by French actor Tahar Rahim, Lebanese director Nadine Labaki and German-American actress Diane Kruger.

Fourteen feature films from across the world, including six by women, will be in the running for the festival’s top prize, the Gold Star.

Artistic director Remi Bonhomme told AFP that the festival “brings together different cinematic worlds, through 76 films (representing) 33 countries covering all continents”.

The opening film is “Pinocchio”, a remake of Carlo Collodi’s animated tale by Mexican director Guillermo del Toro.

Tributes will also be paid to American director James Gray and to Swinton, who headed the festival’s jury in 2018 and 2019, as well as Moroccan director Farida Benlyazid and Bollywood star Ranveer Singh.

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