According to an FIFM press release, these sections are the Official Competition, Gala Screenings, Special Screenings, the 11th Continent, a Moroccan Panorama, Cinema for Young Audiences, screenings on Place Jemaa El Fna and films screened as Tributes to personalities of Moroccan and world cinema.
“True to the Festival’s positioning, the Competition presents films by directors making their first or second feature films in order to discover and promote new talents in world cinema,” said the statement, noting that among the 14 films selected, 10 are first features and 6 are signed by female directors.
It is an eclectic selection from 14 different countries including 2 Latin American (Brazil and Mexico), 3 European (France, Portugal and Switzerland), 4 from the MENA region and its diaspora (Morocco, Sweden / Somalia, Syria, Tunisia), in addition to Australia, Canada, Iran, Indonesia and Türkiye.
“Exploring cinematographic genres from fantasy to film noir, and featuring period films, social dramas, thrillers and melodramas, the films competing for the Étoile d’Or address subjects that reflect the concerns of the younger generations around the world: the construction of identity, the need for role models, and the place of women in contemporary society, but also questions of passing down knowledge, whether that knowledge is of tradition, political heritage or simply love,” explain the organizers.
To open this edition, festival-goers will be able to discover Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, the new wonder of Oscar-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, co-directed with Mark Gustafson. This stop motion musical animation reinvents the adventures of the famous wooden puppet who dreamed of becoming a real boy.
The Gala Sessions will feature international premieres by respected filmmakers such as James Gray (Armageddon Time), Neil Jordan (Marlowe), Tarik Saleh (Boy From Heaven) or Paul Schrader (Master Gardener), as well as films that have made a splash on the international scene such as the Palestinian comedy-drama “Mediterranean Fever”, the thrilling thriller “La Syndicaliste”, starring Isabelle Huppert, as well as the British-Egyptian film “The Swimmers”, which tells the true story of two swimmer sisters who fled Syria to participate in the 2016 Olympic Games.
As for the Special Sessions section, it will present 15 contemporary films from Iceland, India or South Korea, signed by critically acclaimed filmmakers or by the most important international festivals, including Alice Diop, Joanna Hogg, Marie Kreutzer, Jafar Panahi, as well as Fatih Akin and Philippe Faucon, who both shot their films in Morocco.
The 11th Continent section will present films “bold and innovative that shake the cinematic representations”, according to the statement that this program consists of 12 fiction, documentary and archival films “opens a dialogue between contemporary world cinema (Paraguay, Brazil, Lebanon, Spain, Rwanda …) and two classic works shown in restored copies, which have been at the forefront of Arab and African cinema.
The Panorama of Moroccan Cinema will present a selection of 5 recent fictions and documentaries from the national production and will open with the latest fiction of the filmmaker Faouzi Bensaïdi, “Summer Days”, screened in world premiere.
Moroccan cinema will be strongly present at this edition with a total of 15 films in the various sections of the festival, according to the organizers.
The Jemaa El Fna square will bring the festival to life in the heart of the city of Marrakech through a program of popular films presented by personalities including Anurag Kashyap who will present his latest film “Almost Love” in world premiere, added the same source.
In order to raise awareness among tomorrow’s viewers, the Young Audience program will offer schoolchildren the opportunity to discover cinema through 9 dedicated sessions.
Finally, some films of international and Moroccan personalities, to whom the festival will pay tribute, will be screened at the Palais des Congrès, the Colisée cinema and Jemaa El Fna thus completing this rich selection of 76 films.