At the heart of Tangier, in Bourj Bab Lbaroud, the 23 edition of the national film festival « FNF » opened with an exceptional program reviving hopes of the industry’s revival.
Many regional officials, actors and directors attended the grand opening, in which the crowd got to discover the competing films and enjoyed a night full of surprises.
Held Under the high patronage of king Mohammed VI, this 23rd edition of FNF has been postponed due to the difficult times Morocco is going through following Al Haouz eartqjquakd, explained the event master, Moroccan journalist Ouadih Dada.
This edition features a rich and diverse program featuring four categories: school films, short films, documentaries and feature films.
Dada said that Morocco has become a true rock in the cinema universe, which is why the night was about celebrating the big family of this Moroccan industry.
As the festival is organized by the ministry of youth, culture and communication as well as the Moroccan cinematography center (CCM), minister Mehdi Bensaid took the stage for a profound speech on the ministry’s upcoming plans.
The minister applauded CCM’s interim head, Abdelaziz El Bouzdaini who is the ministry’s general secretary, as well as head of the CCM « Cinematheque » Narjiss Nejjar for their efforts which made this unarguably FNF’s best opening night.
Bensaid thanked the Moroccan filmmakers who’s movies echoed on an international scale, bringing home several accolades and creating a new wave of Moroccan cinema.
« Ever since 2021 we have tried to implement a cinematic and artistic industry and encourage higher investments, therefore we are very proud of everyone who contributed to this, » said the minister.
On what’s to come, Bensaid said that talking about the industry is always linked to talking about future generations, therefore he takes great pride in the fact that the Moroccan institute of cinema, ISMAC, and the acting institute ISADAC are both chaired by big industry names, director Hakim Belabbes and Latefa Ahrar, who will undoubtedly forge a new generation of creative minds.
The minister said that one of Morocco’s most prominent cinema figures, Abderrahman Tazi, even suggested volunteering at Ismac, « to give something to the youth. »
Additionally, Bensaid revealed that a draft law on easing paper procedures for cinematic production is underway.
Despite these arrays of hope, the ministry of culture admits that Morocco still faces many challenges, such as the difficulties and ambiguities surrounding artists’ contracts.
Therefore, « We need to overcome obstacles, to strengthen budgets and encourage historical productions! »
He then assured that indeed 150 cinema theaters will open soon, starting with 50 in November and December then January.
« Investors liked the announcements and said they will put more money into this hopeful project, » stated the minister.
This initiative hopes to create cultural spaces in cities with no cinemas, because « How is it possible that Ouarzazate, a city that hosts international cinema, has no cinema theaters? » exclaimed Bensaid.
In the same light, the minister said that negotiations are underway to drive down movie tickets prices, in an attempt to make tickets more accessible to youngsters, at around MAD 30.
« To moviemakers, please, we need to make kids friendly films and we need Moroccan super heroes, » said the minister.
After the minister’s speech, young pianist Ismail Elfilali played two second, the first being the famous « Lux Aeterna », known as the « Requiem for a dream » soundtrack, and the second was « Lily Twil » by Younes Migri, who then joined the young boy on stage in an unexpected surprised and sang along the melody.