FIFM: “A Tale of Shemroon” by Iranian Dehkordi Wins “Golden Star”; “Le Bleu du Caftan” by Moroccan Maryam Touzani gets Jury Prize

FIFM: “A Tale of Shemroon” by Iranian Dehkordi Wins “Golden Star”; “Le Bleu du Caftan” by Moroccan Maryam Touzani gets Jury Prize

“A Tale of Shemroon” by Iranian director Emad Aleebrahim Dehkordi won the “Golden Star” (Grand Prize) of the 19th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival, announced the Jury of the official competition at the closing ceremony held Saturday evening.

This 102-minute feature film tells the story of Iman and his younger brother Payar who live with their father. After the death of their mother, Iman sees his life completely turned upside down and seeks a way out.

Taking advantage of his connections with the capital’s youth, Iman sets up a small business to make easy money, and what at first seems to be the path to a new beginning, turns into a twisted cycle affecting the family’s destiny.

The Festival’s Jury Prize went ex-aequo to “Alma Viva” by Cristèle Alves Meira (Portugal) and “Le Bleu du Caftan” by Maryam Touzani (Morocco).

“Le Bleu du Caftan’ is for its director above all a film about love. It’s a film about love with all its facets, it’s a film about love in the broadest and purest meaning of the word, love between human beings, love of a job, that of a Maalem (a master) said Maryam Touzani.

Co-produced by her husband, Nabil Ayoub, Bleu du Caftan tells the story of Halim (Saleh Bakri) and Mina (Lubna Azabal), a couple who runs a traditional caftan shop in one of Morocco’s oldest medinas.
In order to meet customer demands, they hire Youssef (Ayoub Missioui), a talented apprentice who devotes himself entirely to learning embroidery and tailoring from Halim. Gradually, Mina realizes how much her husband is moved by the presence of the young man. Very moving, the film made the public cry during its screening in Marrakech.
Le Bleu du Caftan was presented for the first time in “Un Certain Regard” of the Cannes Film Festival and won the International Critics Prize (FIPRESCI).

The Best Director’s Award went to the Swiss director Carmen Jacquier, for her film “Thunder”.

The Best Actress Award was won by Choi Seung Yoon for her role in “Riceboy Sleeps” by Anthony Shim (Canada), while the Best Actor Award was granted to Arswendy Bening Swara for her role in “Autobiography” by Makbul Mubarak (Indonesia).

Chaired by Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, the Jury of the official competition of this edition was composed of the British actress Vanessa Kirby, the German actress Diane Kruger, the Australian director Justin Kurzel, the Lebanese director and actress Nadine Labaki, the Moroccan director Laïla Marrakchi and the French actor Tahar Rahim.

In all, the jury watched 14 films in the official competition, representing 14 countries on 5 continents (Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Indonesia, Iran, Morocco, Mexico, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey).

The closing ceremony was also marked by a vibrant tribute to a great figure of the 7th art, the Scottish actress Tilda Swinton. Her emotion was the greater as the organizers invited secretly her daughter, Honor Byrne, to hand her the Golden Star.

In addition to Swinton, the Marrakech International Film Festival paid tribute to the Indian actor Ranveer Singh, the American filmmaker James Gray and the Moroccan director Farida Benlyazid who were also awarded the Golden Star.

Besides the 14 feature movies in the official competition, 62 other films were screened in the “Gala Sessions”, “Special Sessions”, “The 11th Continent”, “Panorama of Moroccan Cinema”, “Young Audience” and “Open Air Screenings at Jamaa El Fna”.

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