The Marrakech Short Film Festival, Morocco’s first large-scale film festival produced entirely by women, is scheduled to take place from the end of September to the beginning of October 2021. As talented Moroccan females lead the first iteration of the Marrakech Short Film Festival, stereotypes are shifting, and women are gradually being included in the film industry in all aspects.
According to the organising committee, the festival will take place in a variety of open spaces throughout Marrakech, including the Jnane Tamsna hotel and the El Fenn hotel. It will also include heritage sites in Marrakech’s ancient Laksour quarter, with a projected daily audience of 70 persons, per COVID measures and social distancing rules.
The festival was founded by Ramia Beladel and Thais Martin, two creative directors with experience organising cultural events. The co-founders want to connect Marrakech to the rest of the globe by showcasing Moroccan and international filmmaking and directing talent.
BMA sources spoke with Ramia Beladel, the festival’s executive director, regarding the first edition’s launch. Beladel revealed that the festival has no selection committee, so she and Martin went over more than 100 entries to choose the best films based on cinematography, storytelling, visual appeal, and dialogue. “I am mostly interested in films that reflect realism in a poetic way – stories that are multifaceted and approach topics in contextual and honest ways,” she said, in addition to the criteria mentioned above.
Gender inequality in the film industry remains a problem worldwide. Moroccan women have been underrepresented in the sector for decades as a result of this. Beladel compares her emotions of being the first female, alongside Martin, to organise Morocco’s first festival made entirely by women to Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon.
Egypt will be a special guest country in the festival’s first edition, with 15 Egyptian short films from well-known directors to be screened during the event. International participants from Palestine, Algeria, France, England, Greece, Canada, and the Netherlands will attend the event.
The festival’s Moroccan competition will be judged by filmmaker Kamal Hachkar, producer of the documentary “Tinghir-Jerusalem: Echoes from the Mellah,” as well as Daniele Suissa, film director and producer, Marie Courtin, a leading photoshoot producer for fashion magazines Mehdi Sefrioui, a fashion photographer, and Tarik Mounim, a French-Moroccan actor.