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Marrakech Film Festival highlights: Elia Suleiman's 'It Must Be Heaven' screens and Hend Sabry talks feminism in cinema

The glamour of the Moroccan film festival continues

The glamour of the Marrakech Film Festival continues. A host of regional stars, including Hend Sabry, Elia Suleiman and Nisrin Erradi turned out on Wednesday, December 4, joining Tilda Swinton, who has been a stalwart of the 18th edition of the festival.

Sabry walked the red carpet for a screening of Suleiman's Palme d'Or-nominated movie, It Must Be Heaven. Also on the red carpet were Swinton, Venice Film Festival director Alberto Barbera and Egyptian actress Ilham Chahine. In a conversation with AFP at the festival, Sabry said she she sees herself "more and more as a feminist" 25 years into her career in cinema.

Tunisian actress Sabry was also in town to give Moroccan actress Mouna Fettou the tribute award on December 4.

"Between the FIFM [the Festival Du Film De Marrakech] and me, it’s a long love story... I have a wonderful memory of it when in 2006, I was the Mistress of Ceremonies," Fettou has written of the award. "This year, my emotion is great to receive the tribute paid by this prestigious festival. What an honour it is to be consecrated among my peers from Morocco and abroad! My pride is only matched by my impatience to meeting you all there."

Moroccan actress Mouna Fettou (L) receives a tribute award from Tunisian actress Hend Sabry (R) during the 18th Marrakech International Film Festival on December 4, 2019 in Marrakesh. / AFP / FADEL SENNA
Moroccan actress Mouna Fettou (L) receives a tribute award from Tunisian actress Hend Sabry (R). AFP

Earlier in the week, Maryam Touzani's Adam was screened for a festival audience. Starring Lubna Azabal, Douae Belkhaouda and Nisrin Erradi, both Touzani and her producer husband, Nabil Ayouch, spoke before the presentation.

Also set to attend this year's Marrakech International Film Festival is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid legend Robert Redford, Priyanka Chopra and French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier, who will each take part in on-stage 'In Conversation With' interviews.

Redford will also receive the festival’s Etoile d’Or award in recognition of his life's work, while a tribute to Chopra's contribution to cinema will be made in the city's Jemaa El Fna Square.

Rian Johnson's Knives Out opened the festival programme, with 98 movies from 34 countries due to be screened across the week. Among those showcasing in the festival's Official Competition is Tlamess by Tunisia's Ala Eddine Slim and Last Visit by Saudi Arabia's Abdulmohsen Aldhabaan.

The festival will run until Saturday, December 7.

For more information, visit www.festivalmarrakech

Updated: December 5, 2019 11:28 AM

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