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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Fuse Marrakech Winner

PJER ZALICA’S “FUSE” WINS ETOILE D’OR FOR BEST FEATURE FILM

Attendance figures up by more than 150% - over 100,000 cinema-goers throng to screenings throughout the Festival

The third annual Marrakesh International Film Festival, under the patronage of His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, and the presidency of HRH, Prince Moulay Rachid, awarded the winners of its feature and short film competitions tonight at a closing night gala in the spectacular amphitheatre created in the ruins of the Palais Badii. Tonie Marshall’s “France Boutique” screened to an audience of 1500 following the ceremony.


The Etoile d’Or for Best Feature Film was presented by this year’s Festival President Nathalie Baye to FUSE by Bosnian director Pjer Žalica, awarded by a jury presided over by director Volker Schlöndorff, comprising actresses Pascale Bussières, Virginie Ledoyen and Kerry Fox, actor Shashi Kapoor, writer Hinde Taarji, and directors Mohamed Abderrahman Tazi and André Téchiné. Thomas McCarthy’s THE STATION AGENT received the feature film Special Jury Prize, presented by Moroccan actor, Younès Megri.


The Best Short Film Etoile d’Or was presented by Jeremy Irons and actress Judith Godreche to « HYMNE A LA GAZELLE » by French director STEPHANIE DUVIVIER. The prize was awarded by Jury president Jeremy Irons and members including actresses, Maria Schneider, Cécilia Roth, and Raja Amari, director Hakim Belabbes, and actor Roschdy Zem. Irons and Godreche presented the Short Film Special Jury prize to Algerian director TARIQ TEGUIA’s « HACLA ».

The feature film jury awarded its Best Actor Prize to BOGDAN DIKLIČ for his performance in Etoile d’Or winner FUSE; the prize was presented by Spanish actress Najwa Nimri. Moroccan actor Said Taghmaoui presented the Best Actress prize to NAJAT BENSALLEM for her performance in RAJA. TAKESHI KITANO was named BEST DIRECTOR for ZATOICHI with an award presented by Moroccan director Leila Marrakchi and actress Naima Lamcharki. Moroccan writer and director Narjiss Nejjar’s LES YEUX SECS received the prize for Best Screenplay, presented by director Danis Tanovic.


This year’s festival was the occasion of the presentation at the Royal Palace of Morocco’s highest order of merit, the Ouissam Allaouite, to four special guests: the directors Manoel de Oliveira, Ridley Scott and Oliver Stone and the actor Alain Delon. Stone is currently shooting his untitled Alexander the Great project in the Kingdom of Morocco and Sir Ridley’s “Kingdom of Heaven” is due to start production in the country early next year.

During the six days of the festival (3 to 8 October) special recognition was also paid to recipients of the Festival’s honorary “Etoile d’Or” including Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan, French legend Alain Delon, and Moroccan actress Amina Rachid and Egyptian actress Yousra.

Highlights of the event included a Bollywood strand, enormously popular with the local audiences and festival participants alike, and attended by Indian stars Amitabh Bachchan, Soumitra Chatterjee and Tabu. A variety of venues including neighbourhood cinemas and the famous Place Jemaa el Fna hosted screenings of films from around the globe programmed by Christine Ravet.

More than 100,000 spectators attended the Festival screenings over the six days of the Festival – a dramatic increase of 150% over last year’s figure of 40,000. Between 10 and 12,000 people flocked to the Place Jemaa el Fna for each of the evening screenings, and over 30,000 watched films at the Festival’s headquarters at the Palais des Congrès.

“I am delighted that so many Marrakchi came to see the films this year”, commented Christine Ravet. “Many came in family groups and there was a pleasingly high percentage of young people, from 12 to 18. Evidence of their passion for the cinema was their enthusiasm for the films from Iraq, Bosnia, Russia, Kazakhstan, for example, as well as for Moroccan and Indian films.

There was terrific applause at each screening, and many stayed to ask questions of the visiting directors. This Festival has a very exciting future indeed. “

Prizes 3rd Annual Marrakesh International Film Festival
ETOILE D’OR FOR BEST FEATURE FILM: “FUSE” directed by Pjer Žalica FEATURE FILM JURY SPECIAL PRIZE: “THE STATION AGENT” directed by Thomas McCarthy
BEST SCREENPLAY: “LES YEUX SECS” by Narjiss Nejjar
BEST ACTOR: Bogdan DIKLIČ for “Fuse”
BEST ACTRESS: Najat BENSALLEM for “Raja”
BEST SHORT FILM: “HYMNE A LA GAZELLE” directed by Stéphanie Duvivier
SHORT FILM JURY SPECIAL PRIZE: “HACLA” directed by Tariq TEGUIA

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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