MARRAKECH – Saving cinema, the joy of sitting in darkened rooms and a lack of female role models in Arab cinema, were just some of the topics addressed by this year’s star-studded jury at the Marrakech Film Festival on Saturday.
Slightly different to October’s announcement, this year’s jury consists of Vanessa Kirby (“The Son”), French-Algerian actor Tahar Rahim (“The Serpent”), Australian director Justin Kurzel (“Nitram”), Lebanese director-actor Nadine Labaki (“Caparnum”), Germany’s Diane Kruger (“Inglorious Basterds”) and Moroccan director Laïla Marrakchi
(“Marock”). Paolo Sorrentino is the Oscar-winning director “The Great Beauty”And “The Hand of God,” presides.
Oscar Isaac (“Scenes from a Marriage”) and Danish director Susanne Bier (“The Undoing”Initial announcements included a mention of ) as members of the jury.
Nabila Kilani, the host, announced Friday night at the opening ceremony that “difficult circumstances”Had stood in the way for Isaac and Bier attending Marrakech.
Sorrentino, the jury head, was asked many questions.
“There’s a moment of confusion around films. The pandemic brought us to face many new realities. We have to wait a bit for new wonderful movies,”He said.
“Years ago the challenge for me was to do TV series. I love doing films for big rooms because there is a crisis in cinema. Our duty is to save cinemas. Maybe platforms don’t need us at this moment. It’s a crisis in many countries including Italy,”He added.
Labaki was not only concerned about the preservation of cinemas but also stressed the importance of having voices from all continents on the screen, including Africa and the Arab world. These two regions are integral to the Marrakech festival.
“To help cinemas and serve audiences in the Arab world and Africa, we should show Hollywood films but we should also show films from everywhere, locally, Bollywood, you name it.”
Rahim and I have to address the issue of Arab women lacking role models.
“There were no role models when I was growing up in Morocco for female directors or actors,”I reside between France and Morocco. I made two films in Morocco. I carry the voice of Moroccan women with me and bear this fight wherever I go as a Moroccan woman.”
Rahim was added: “There are more and more representatives of the Maghreb world on screen today, but there were no people from my origins as a kid, so I watched Hollywood movies which had more or less the same issues as in France. Platforms can help. When I was a kid, theaters were the experience. I couldn’t afford it. We need to defend the experience of cinema today.”
Kurzel was last seen in Marrakech, with his Australian murder thriller “Snowtown”2011. He realized the advantages of showing his film here.
“It’s really exciting being on the jury and watching first -time filmmakers,”He said. “Looking back at my first film, it was reckless and unbridled, and it’s hard to find that again. It was really important for that film to have the exposure at the festival because it was hard to get the word out from Australia. I’m still friends with people I met here. You form a tribe. And that sustains you,”He said.
Kirby answered the question: “The best cinema makes me empathize or dissolve any preconceptions about something or place or combination of both.”
She continued: “Cinema has make me feel so deeply for corners of experience I haven’t had. I’m always surprised by my own beliefs that I then challenge through my work. I’m really excited to be part of this group and on this journey too.”
Kruger, on the other hand, is eager to discover darkened rooms.
“I am excited to be back at a festival that celebrates new cinema and movies,”She spoke. “When you are in a dark room and seeing so many films, the beautiful ones really stick out. I’m looking forward to finding new filmmakers and hopefully new actors and seeing the future of film.”
The festival will be held from Nov. 11-20.