Marrakesh international movie festival opens
Morocco-Regional, Culture, 9/29/2001
The 1st Marrakesh international movie festival opened on Friday at the prestigious Palais des Congres in Marrakesh in presence of a host of international stars of the motion picture.
Morocco culture and communication minister, Mohamed Achaari, stressed that this international event reflects Morocco's faith in freedom, cultural exchanges and dialogue between civilizations and cultures in order to counter all forms of fanaticism. He underlined that cinema is an essential vector to disseminate issues of co-existence and respect of others and a clear invitation to overcome fear.
President of the Festival executive committee, French cinema critic Daniel Toscan Du plantier, said the idea to hold the international festival propped up ten years ago during a meeting between him, King Mohammed VI -then crown prince- and French actor Gerard Depardieu who was in Morocco to promote his movie Cyrano De Bergerac.
The movie was opened by "Silence on Tourne," a movie of Egyptian director Youssef Chahine and starring Tunisian singer Latefa. French director, Claude Lelouch and Egyptian-born international star, Omar Sherif, received the trophies of honor for the whole of their career.
Lelouch who will also present his latest movie "And Now Ladies and Gentlemen" which was shot in Morocco said the holding of the festival has a particular meaning in view of the attacks against the USA, noting "nightmare has declared war on dream, we are in Marrakesh to declare war on nightmare."
Following the festival official opening, participants were invited to attend a gala dinner offered by King Mohammed VI who welcomed his guests, accompanied by prince Moulay Rachid and princesses Lalla Meryem, Lalla Hasna and Lalla Asma.
The sovereign also decorated Youssef Chahine of the intellectual merit wissam.
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