The International Film Festival of Marrakech has named Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami as president of the jury for its ninth edition, which runs December 4 – 12.

The festival has also revealed that it will focus on Korean cinema this year following successful tributes to Spain, Italy, Egypt and the UK in previous years.

It follows the renewal of interest in Korean film-makers including Park Chan-wook and Bong Joon-ho – both of whom had titles at this year’s Cannes.

The festival described Korean film industry as vibrant and it has become a driving force of cinema in Asia after being shaped by influences including fierce nationalism duing the Korean war followed by production and exhibition quotas to protect the local market.

Kiarostami, who won the Palme d’Or for Taste Of Cherry in 1997, is also heading the jury for the narrative feature competition at the Middle East International Film Festival, which runs October 10 – 19. His ninth feature Certified Copy, starring Juliette Binoche, will be released next year.