This year, the Atlas Workshops will present 16 projects in development and six films in post-production from 11 countries, selected from 240 applications received from the African continent and the Arab world, FIFM announced in a statement.
The 23 selected projects and films will receive tailor-made support from script, production, distribution, editing and music consultants before they participate in a co-production market attended by nearly 250 accredited international professionals, the same source explained, adding that juries will award financial prizes totaling €106,000, including the ArteKino Prize.
This year’s cohort features new talents such as Sameh Alaa (Egypt), winner of the Palme d’Or for a short film at the Festival de Cannes Film Festival, alongside filmmakers who have already made a name for themselves on the international scene, among them Meryem Benm’Barek (Morocco), who won a prize at Cannes with her first feature-length film Sofia; Rafiki Fariala (Central African Republic) and George Peter Barbari (Lebanon), discovered at the Berlin International Film Festival with their respective films We, Students! and Death of a Virgin and the Sin of Not Living, and Mamadou Dia (Senegal), who won a prize at the Locarno Film Festival for Nafi’s Father. In addition, Moroccan filmmaker Faouzi Bensaïdi will unveil excerpts from his new film Déserts to festival directors as part of the Atlas Film Showcase, according to the organizers.
This year, seven films, including five from Morocco, that were supported by previous editions of the Atlas Workshops in the development and/or post-production stages have been selected for the programme of the 19th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival: The Damned Don’t Cry by Fyzal Boulifa (Morocco), Queens by Yasmine Benkiran (Morocco), Fragments from Heaven by Adnane Baraka (Morocco), Abdelinho by Hicham Ayouch (Morocco), Goldfishes by Abdeslam Kelai (Morocco), Ashkal by Youssef Chebbi (Tunisia) and Under the Fig Trees by Erige Sehiri (Tunisia).
During the 5th edition, the Atlas Workshops also presents two round tables that focus on screenwriting through tracing the careers of established filmmakers and screenwriters; as well as a panel that brings together several key distributors from the Arab world. In parallel, professionals will share their expertise in sound, casting, working with archives and production in the Atlas Station workspace, the statement read.
The Atlas Workshops, which are the industry platform of the Marrakech International Film Festival, have the stated mission of supporting a new generation of Moroccan, Arab and African filmmakers by exhibiting their projects on the international stage.