Former Canal Plus chief Pierre Lescure will act as president of the upcoming Equinoxe screenwriters' workshop in Marrakech from April 26-May 3. Former president Jeanne Moreau will take up the role of honorary president.

Since its inception 11 years ago, the twice yearly event has generated 64 films which have won 60 prizes in worldwide festivals.

Although major sponsors Columbia and Canal Plus recently pulled out of Equinoxe, the group is determined to go on. Lescure told that Equinoxe's founders were contacted by the Writers' Guild of America and urged to continue despite the losses.

Lescure said that Canal's exit was somewhat illogical given that its contribution over eight years amounted to Euros 460,000. But, he said, "I couldn't very well go to (current Canal Plus president) Meheut and tell him what to do."

Still, the group has a long list of sponsors including William Randolph Hearst III, the Kingdom of Morocco, the CNC, the UK Film Council and UIP.

Talent taking part in the workshops this year include Susan B. Landau, Pascal Bonitzer, Kit Carson, Colo Tavernier, Adam Brooks and Mike Figgis. Future workshops are planned for San Francisco and Buenos Aires in 2005