Inch'Allah Dimanche by Franco-Algerian director Yamina Benguigui was yesterday (Oct 2) named best film at the end of the first Marakesh film festival. The film is the story of a family of Algerian immigrants in 1960s France.
The jury rewarded two other films: Andanggaman by Ivory Coast director Roger Gnoan M'Bala and Andrucha Waddington's Brazilian picture Eu Tu Eles with joint special prizes.
Including sidebars on Arab films and held in a Muslim country only two weeks after the September 11 atrocities in the US, the festival had been put in some doubt. But, even without the participation of scheduled stars Faye Dunaway, Matt Dillon, Rosanna Arquette, Andie MacDowell and John Boorman, it passed off without incident.
The festival, which was heavily backed by French export association Unifrance Film International and the Moroccan royal family, was well attended. Some 20,000 tickets were sold to the local public, which voted Tom McLoughlin's The Unsaid as its favourite.
Charlotte Rampling, the jury president, said: "this shows that we should not all be on the defensive and that even during the most troubled times it is possible to create beautiful things such as this festival."
Stars who did brave the political turmoil included Omar Sharif, Anouk Aimee, Thierry Lhermitte, Arielle Dombasle and veteran Egyptian director Youssef Chahine.