Martin Scorcese Will Mentor Arab Filmmakers At the Marrakech International Film Festival

For its 20th edition

The Marrakech International Film Festival is bringing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to filmmakers in the region: The opportunity to be mentored by one of the major figures of the “New Hollywood” era, Oscar-winning director, producer, screenwriter, and actor Martin Sorcese. Running from Nov. 34 to Dec. 2, Scorcese will take on the role of patron of the Atlas Workshops, the festival’s industry program dedicated to emerging talent from the African continent and the Arab world.

Over the years, his presence in the world of cinema has contributed to some of the most brilliant films; from GoodFellas (1990) and Taxi Driver (1976) with its intricate character development to The Departed (2006) with its plot twist that is hard to ignore, the childhood classic Shark Tale (2004), and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). It is no secret that the esteemed cinema tycoon is an avid supporter of cinema-related events, including the Marrakech Film Festival, which he has attended five times. 

“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,” Scorsese said in a statement released on Deadline.  

“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.”

The 2023 Atlas Worship filmmakers will be known as the class of Martin Scorcese. The Atlas Workshop was initially launched in 2018 supporting more than 111 projects and films over its first five editions. 

Four Arab filmmakers who showcased at Cannes in May had undergone the program:  Un Certain Regard Best Director winner, Asmae El-Moudir for The Mother of All Lies,  Un Certain Regard Jury Prize winner filmmaker Kamal Lazraq, Sudanese director Amjad Al Rasheed’s Inshallah A Boy– which screened in Critics’s Week and has since been selected for Toronto International Film Festival– and Moroccan filmmaker Faouzi Bensaïdi who took home the Directors’ Fortnight title for Deserts

The sixth edition of the workshops will run from Nov. 27 to 30. The project selection has yet to be announced. The call for entries for projects in development closed on July 20, while the deadline for films in production or post-production is Sep.  21.


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