The Marrakech International Film Festival has announced its full jury, signaling that the event is forging ahead with its 20th edition despite the Israel-Hamas conflict — which has caused cancellations of several other fests in the region — and the earthquake that hit the country in September.
Joining Jessica Chastain – who is the fest’s previously announced jury president – will be Iranian actor Zar Amir; French actor Camille Cottin; Australian actor and director Joel Edgerton; British director Joanna Hogg; U.S. director Dee Rees; Swedish-Egyptian director Tarek Saleh; Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgård and French-Moroccan writer Leïla Slimani.
The jury will award Marrakech’s Étoile d’Or to one of 14 first-and second-time feature films in the competition, which is dedicated to the discovery of global talent.
A major cultural event in Morocco, Marrakech – which will run Nov. 24-Dec. 2 – is one of the only international festivals of that scale where screenings and masterclasses are free and open to the public. Many high profile filmmakers and actors are expected to attend.
Among these, Martin Scorsese will be coming to serve as official patron of the Atlas Workshops, the festival’s industry initiative which is aimed at fostering and supporting the emergence of a new generation of Moroccan, Arab and African filmmakers. The revered director is a Marrakech festival regular. Scorsese presided over its jury in 2013 and presented an honorary tribute to Robert De Niro in 2018.
While Marrakech is going ahead, other events in the region that have instead been canceled or indefinitely postponed due to the Israel-Hamas conflict are Egypt’s El Gouna and Cairo film festivals and markets; Doha’s Ajyal children’s film fest; and Tunisia’s Carthage Film Days.