Morocco guest of honor at the South Sderot Film Festival

The 2022 edition of the South Film Festival, scheduled for November 6 to 10 in the Israeli city of Sderot, celebrates Moroccan cinema.

“We are happy to welcome this year with the bold colors, images and charm of Moroccan culture, and to present you with a special program on contemporary Moroccan cinema,” the organizers said in a statement.

During this edition, films by director Hicham El Asri will be screened in his presence, in addition to organizing a symposium on Moroccan cinema in the presence of Moroccan critics and filmmakers, the statement added.

As part of the South Film Festival, the films made as part of the “remembers Marrakech” project, which deals with the theme “The Jews of Marrakech between the present and the past”, will also be screened. It is a joint production of five short documentaries between the School of Audiovisual Arts of Sderot, the Maher Program of the Polytechnic University Mohammed VI of Benguerir and the Gesher Multicultural Film Fund.

These short films present various perceptions and points of view on the Jewish community of the Mellah of Marrakech, of which only a few remain. The emphasis that will be placed on Moroccan cinema at the Southern Film Festival stems from nostalgia, add the organizers, noting that today, a cooperation between several parties in Israel and Morocco, private and public, has made it possible to start the “remembers Marrakech” project as a major contribution.

On the other hand, the festival will welcome film buffs and specialists in particular from the Immigration Festival in Agadir. A special debate session will also be organized on contemporary Moroccan cinema moderated by Samir Belaiachi, and poetry readings will be made by Israeli poets of Moroccan origin moderated by the poet and dean of the School of Audiovisual Arts of Sderot Sami Shalom Chetrit, according to the same source.

Likewise, director Simone Bitton, who will present her new film “Visit”, will participate in the Festival du Film du Sud, the statement said, indicating that the festival will also offer a preview of short films from the École Supérieure des Arts. Visuals of Marrakech, in the presence of Vincent Melili, director of the school.

Director Isa Jenini will also be the festival’s guest of honor to talk about her experience as a Moroccan Jew, as a filmmaker in the villages and mountains of Morocco.

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