Martin Scorsese is set to be the official patron of the upcoming Marrakech International Film Festival’s Atlas Workshops. The revered filmmaker is a Marrakech festival regular — he notably presided over its jury in 2013 and presented an honorary tribute to Robert De Niro in 2018.
Launched in 2018, the Atlas Workshops are an initiative to foster and support the emergence of a new generation of Moroccan, Arab, and African filmmakers that provides an environment for exchanges between global professionals and regional talent. Scorsese will take part in several sessions with the project teams in attendance.
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Over the course of its five editions to date, they have supported 111 film projects, 48 of which from Morocco. Several of these have made the cut at major international festivals and also won prizes, bolstering the workshop’s role a Middle East and North Africa region filmmaking incubator
At this year’s Cannes these four films supported by the Atlas workshops screened in various sections: “The Mother of all Lies” by Morocco’s Asmae El Moudir, which scored best director honours in Un Certain Regard; Hounds by Kamal Lazraq, also from Morocco, which won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize; “Inshallah a Boy” by Jordan’s Amjad Al Rasheed which screened in Critics’ Week; and “Deserts” by Morocco’s Faouzi Bensaïdi which bowed in Directors’ Fortnight.
“I am always happy to be returning to my beloved Marrakech Film Festival—when I haven’t been able to attend in person, I’ve always been there in spirit,” said Scorsese in a statement.
“For this very special anniversary edition of the festival, I have been entrusted with a precious task: to interact with young filmmakers and help to guide them on their way. I look forward to seeing old friends, and to making new ones,” he added.
The 6th edition of the Atlas Workshops will take place Nov. 27-30 alongside the 20th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival, which runs from Nov. 24-Dec. 2.
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