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Jean-François Camilleri, a great Disney in the Festival


A Disney film screened in the Marrakech International Film Festival? Yes, and Jean-François Camilleri, CEO of the Walt Disney Company in France, tells us why this premiere is a unique event.

Moana, Disney's newest animated film is screened this Sunday at the Palais des Congres: the movie is listed in the Out of competition category. «It’s a triple premiere» says, looking delighted, Jean-François Camilleri, CEO of Walt Disney in France, Holland, Belgium et Luxembourg. «It’s the first animated movie shown at the Festival, the first time Disney is present, and last but not least, it’s our first movie dubbed in arabic –with french subtitles- to be released in theatres in Morocco», he explains. The arabic version of Moana is coming out in all Moroccan cinemas on Monday.

«I oversee Disney’s activities in Morocco, in the Maghreb and in Frenchspeaking Africa, and I wanted to make a big impression» says Jean-François Camilleri who adds that if it’s a success –and he doesn’t doubt it- Disney’s next animated movies would also be released in arabic. With Moana, Disney is presenting another engaging -and above all- very feminist heroine, in line with Rapunzel (Tangled) or Elsa (Frozen). The vahine princess is even more fearless, her body shape is more realistic (less Barbielike), and she embarks on a great adventure without… any love interest!

« Another first » smiles Jean-François Camilleri, who also highlights the very realistic way Polynesia is depicted and the great quality of the digital design: it took a lot of research and work to translate all the wonders of this region. On that matter, the CEO is convinced the evolution of digital design techniques is one of the reasons animated films are weighing more and more in the cinema industry. «It provides an immersive experience to the viewer». But that’s not the only reason. «Scenarios are better written, with characters and dialogues designed to appeal to all ages. That’s why we can see full grown men and women going to the theatre without a kid in toe, to watch films like Moana, but also Zootopia or Ratatouille». The latter, a Pixar production, is with Disney all time classic The Jungle Book among his favourites animated films.