A brave and visionary initiative, a key date in the history of moroccan cinema

Upon its creation in 2001 on the initiative of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, and despite the grim international context marked by the events of September 11 in New York, from the outset Morocco wanted its brand new festival to be both a prestigious platform dedicated to filmmaking talent and an intercultural bridge between nations. It was with this in mind that the choice emerged of the city of Marrakech – capital of the great Moroccan dynasties since the period of the Almoravids and Morocco’s opening to North Africa and Andalusia, but also a rapidly growing city with the infrastructure necessary to host an event with an international dimension. Eminent figures from the cinema world from both sides of the Mediterranean were called upon to drive the idea of a festival which could live up to Morocco’s ambitions in the field of cinema and audiovisual. The French producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier – friend of the kingdom and of Marrakech – combined his vision with that of his Moroccan partners and agreed to lead the team who breathed life into the first edition of the Marrakech Film Festival with his trademark passion, enthusiasm and professionalism. Among the primary objectives of this new event were showcasing quality cinematographic works, thereby contributing to the artistic evolution of world cinema, the development of the Moroccan film industry, and the promotion of Morocco’s image throughout the world.