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Marrakech Matures Into Full-Fledged International Film Festival [Variety]

Morocco’s film industry matures, with help from Hollywood’s longstanding love of the country:

varietyTurning 14 this year, the Marrakech International Film Festival has matured into a full-fledged fest that not only showcases world cinema highlights but also breeds local talent.

Jeremy Irons, during his career tribute on the second day of events, recalled the attribulated first edition in December 2001, which initially seemed at risk after the 9/11 attacks in New York. He underlined how far the festival has evolved since then.

Brainchild of late French producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier, the Marrakech fest in its early years were highly influenced by European cinema, in particular by French films. It also showcased Hollywood talent, including self-confessed Moroccophiles, such as Martin Scorsese, who was jury prexy in 2013 and is godfather to the ESAV, Marrakech’s leading film school, which he inaugurated in 2007.

“For me, Morocco and the movies have always gone hand in hand, so when the festival was founded back in 2001, I was eager to help out,” said Scorsese. “But over the years, I’ve seen my friend Melita (Toscan du Plantier) build something very special: a real home for cinema in a beautiful setting, a place where you can relax with friends and do nothing but watch and think about and talk about movies.”…[Full Story]

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