American director Martin Scorsese was forced to apologize for not attending the 20th edition of the Marrakesh Film Festival as he underwent extensive medical tests.
Scorsese oversaw the “Atlas” workshops in their sixth edition, and was the guest of honor at the Marrakech Film Festival, participating in sessions discussing projects presented by the 25 film crews participating in the workshops.
Despite this recent change, the event organizers have promised that they will not make any changes to the Atlas workshop program.
Deadline reported that the director was absent due to personal reasons, indicating that he would like to attend subsequent editions. Scorsese is considered one of the most important supporters of the Marrakesh Festival, the last of which will be held in 2021, as he has attended 5 previous editions.
The American director is also a close friend of festival director Melita Toscan du Plantier, who has been the driving force behind the event since the sudden death in 2003 of her husband, Daniel du Plantier, the founder of the Marrakech festival.
The Marrakesh Film Festival includes the “Atlas” workshops program launched in 2018, dedicated to emerging African and Arab talent, and Scorsese is one of the biggest cinema personalities invited to sponsor the workshops.
“Atlas” Workshops launched a special program within the festival in 2018, and in its previous five sessions has succeeded in highlighting a number of films that have achieved significant success, including Amjad Al-Rasheed’s “God Willing, A Boy”. “Atlas” premiered during Critics’ Week at the festival. He was also selected to represent Jordan at the Oscars in Cannes, France.
The same thing was repeated in director Lena Soulem’s “Bye Bye Tiberias”, which was screened at the Italian Venice and Toronto film festivals in Canada. Palestine represents the Oscar competition and the Moroccan film “White Lies”. Asma Al-Tirir won the Best Director award in the “Look” category competition at the French “Cannes” festival. What”.
A platform for projects
“These workshops are a platform that allows us enough time to develop film projects and meet international partners,” Al-Hadi Zardi, director of the Atlas Workshops, told Variety.
Regarding the forms of support for filmmakers, Al-Hadi said, “During the 4 days of Atlas workshops, we offer individual consultation sessions, training and mentoring sessions, and a co-production market. to exchange ideas, develop their projects, meet new and potential partners in production and financing.” and release films internationally.
The “Atlas” workshop program will run from November 27 to 30, during the Marrakesh Festival, which opens on Friday, November 24 and runs through December 3, 2023.
The Marrakesh festival opened last Friday in the presence of many international stars, including American actress Jessica Chastain, jury president, Danish actor Mats Mikkelsen, who was honored on the opening night, and a Moroccan director. Faouzi Bensaidi and American actor Willem Dafoe and British actress Tilda Swinton and French actress Isabelle Huppert were also present.
During the festival, 75 films from 36 countries will be screened, and 14 films will compete for the festival’s official competition prizes, including 8 films by female directors.
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