Italian director Paolo Sorrentino has been named as jury president of Morocco’s Marrakech International Film Festival, which will run as a physical event for the first time in three years from 11 to 19 November.
The Oscar-winning The Great Beauty and nominated The Hand Of God filmmaker previously attended the festival in 2013, as a member of the jury presided over by Martin Scorsese alongside Marion Cotillard, Golshifteh Farahani and Park Chan-wook among others.
“The Marrakech International Film Festival is for me the place where the dream of watching numerous films with Martin Scorsese, and of spending days talking about cinema with him and other talented colleagues, came true,” said Sorrentino.
The jury awards the festival’s Golden Star (Étoile d’Or) to one of the 14 first or second feature films in the international competition. Recent winners include Austrian director Sudabeh Mortezai’s Joy (2018) and Colombian filmmaker Nicolas Rincon Gille’s Valley of Souls (2019).
This will be a particularly significant edition for Marrakech as it marks the event’s first in-person iteration since 2019 after the pandemic led to its cancellation in 2020 and also scuppered hopes of a revival in 2021.
“I believe—I want to believe—that cinemas will fill up again, and I am sure that many wonderful films will be released soon. To witness this revival from such a symbolic place, to discover the cinema of tomorrow from such an interesting cultural and geographical point of view, will be an additional gift,” said Sorrentino.
This year also marks the first physical edition for incoming artistic director Rémi Bonhomme who was appointed to the role on the eve of the pandemic and kept the spirit of the event alive throughout this time with virtual iterations of its industry-focused Atlas Workshops project market.