Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 14 December 2019

Marrakech International Film Festival 2019: Tilda Swinton, Marion Cotillard and more at the opening ceremony

Stars of Hollywood and Arab cinema walked the red carpet in Morocco last night

The city of Marrakesh looked particularly starry last night, as the Marrakech International Film Festival officially kicked off for another year.

The cinematic event, now in its 18th iteration, held an opening ceremony in Morocco on Friday, November 29, with some of Hollywood's most recognised talents jetting in for the occasion.

Walking the red carpet was Tilda Swinton, with the Oscar-winning Michael Clayton star serving as president of the festival's jury for 2019.

Also in attendance was British-Australian Mulholland Drive actress Naomi Watts and Academy Award-winning La Vie en Rose star Marion Cotillard.

Scroll through the gallery above to see more from Marrakech International Film Festival 2019's opening ceremony.

The festival, which runs in Marrakesh until Saturday, December 7, will this year pay tribute to the best of Australian cinema, as well as works from the Arab world, and will screen 25 feature films from Down Under during its programme.

George Miller's Mad Max, Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock and Justin Kurzel's True History Of the Kelly Gang are among the titles that will be showcased throughout the festival.

As well as Watts, several stars of Australia's acting landscape are set to make an appearance at the festival, such as Geoffrey Rush, Simon Baker and Ben Mendelsohn.

Swinton, also known for her work on The Chronicles of Narnia, will preside over a nine-member jury that includes names such as Moroccan director Ali Essafi, Afghani director Atiq Rahimi and The King's Australian director David Michod.

Jury members (L-R) Moroccan director Ali Essafi, French-Italian actress Chiara Mastroianni, French director Rebecca Zlotowski, Swedish actor Mikael Persbrandt, Afghan director Atiq Rahimi, British director Andrea Arnold, Scottish actress and president of the jury Tilda Swinton, Australian director David Michod and Brazilian director Kleber Mendonca Filho attend the opening ceremony of the 18th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival on November 29, 2019 in Marrakech. / AFP / FADEL SENNA
Jury members Ali Essafi, Chiara Mastroianni, Rebecca Zlotowski, Mikael Persbrandt, Atiq Rahimi, Andrea Arnold, Tilda Swinton, David Michod and Kleber Mendonca Filho attend the opening ceremony of the 18th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival on November 29, 2019. AFP

Also set to attend this year's Marrakech International Film Festival is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid legend Robert Redford, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Palestinian director Elia Suleiman and Pulp Fiction star Harvey Keitel, 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 will be made to Chopra in the city's Jemaa El Fna Square.

“I am thrilled to be returning to Marrakech, after attending the Festival in 2012 for the tribute to Hindi cinema” said The Sky is Pink actress. “It is such an honour to be recognised this year with a tribute on Jemaa El Fna Square before the Moroccan public, who have always showed so much love and support throughout my career.”

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.

For more information, visit www.festivalmarrakech

Updated: November 30, 2019 10:13 AM

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