at eternitys gate c lily gavin

Source: Lily Gavin

‘At Eternity’s Gate’

The Marrakech International Film Festival (Nov 30-Dec 8) has revealed its 2018 line-up, jury and honorary awards. 

The Moroccan festival has been running since 2001, but took a year off in 2017 to “reflect on its editorial line”.

The competition line-up features 14 films from first or second-time directors. Six of the films competing for the Marrakech Etoile d’Or (or the Gold Star) are directed by women. Among the line-up is Sudabeh Mortezai’s Joy, Kent Jones’ Diane and Eva Trobisch’s All Good.

The festival opens with a gala screening of Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate starring Willem Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh. The other gala screenings are Valeria Golino’s Euforia, Alfonso Cuarón’s ROMA, Peter Farrelly’s Green Book, A.B.Shawky’s Yomeddine and Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum.

There are 17 special screenings of international films, including Paul Dano’s Wildlife, Wanuri Kahiu’s Rafiki and Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra’s Birds Of Passage.

The festival will also highlight seven local films in its Moroccan Panorama section.


Joining jury head James Gray this year will be actress Dakota Johnson, actress Ileana D’Cruz, Lebanese filmmaker Joana Hadjithomas, director Lynne Ramsay, director Tala Hadid, director Laurent Cantet, actor Daniel Brühl and director Michel Franco. They will be judging the main competition.

Honorary awards

This year the festival will pay tribute to Moroccan director Jillali Ferhati. His films include Bamboo Brides, The Beach Of The Lost Children and Pillow Secrets.

Robert De Niro, Agnès Varda and Robin Wright will also be honoured. 

As previously announced, Martin Scorsese, Guillermo Del Toro and Thierry Fremaux will take part in masterclasses.

Christoph Terhechte was hired as the festival’s new artistic director earlier this year as part of the festival’s revamp. He was previously director of the Berlin Film Festival’s Forum section. Joining him on the programming team are festival executive Ali Hajji, art curator Rasha Salti, film critic Anke Leweke and Critics’ Week General coordinator Rémi Bonhomme.

The festival’s publicist, industry veteran Richard Lormand, died suddenly aged 56, last week. 

Competition line-up

  • The Good Girls (Mexico), dir. Alejandra Márquez Abella
  • Joy (Austria), dir. Sudabeh Mortezai
  • Diane (USA), dir. Kent Jones
  • The Load (Serbia, France, Croatia, Iran, Qatar), dir. Ognjen Glavonić
  • The Chambermaid (Mexico), dir. Lila Avilés
  • Red Snow (Japan), dir. Sayaka Kai
  • Look At Me (Tunisia), dir. Nejib Belkhadhi
  • Irina (Bulgaria), dir. Nadejda Koseva
  • Vanishing Days (China), dir. Zhu Xin
  • Urgent (Morocco, Switzerland), dir. Mohcine Besri
  • Rojo (Argentina, Brazil, France, The Netherlands, Germany), dir. Benjamín Naishtat
  • Akasha (Sudan, South Africa, Germany, Qatar), dir. Hajooj Kuka
  • The Giraffe (Egypt), dir. Ahmed Magdy
  • All Good (Germany), dir. Eva Trobisch

Moroccan Panorama

  • Volubilis (Walili), dir. Faouzi Bensaïdi
  • We Could Be Heroes (Documentary), dir. Hind Bensari
  • The Healer, dir. Mohamed Zineddaine
  • Sofia, dir. Meryem Benm’barek
  • Stateless, dir. Narjiss Nejjar
  • Catharsys, Or The Afina Tales Of The Lost World, dir. Yassine Marco Marroccu
  • Jahiliya, dir. Hicham Lasri