"I am very honored and proud to receive this tribute, that comes in recognition of my work and that is given to me by a great international festival. It feels so reassuring to know that we exist, and that we have a place in the international film industry".
Jillali Ferhati was born in the Ait Wahy locality near Khemisset in 1948. He grew up in Tangier, which nurtured him and shaped his personality. A director, scriptwriter, and producer, Ferhati began his career in the theatre before he moved on to cinema which impassioned him immeasurably. He had previously studied literature and sociology in France, where he fell in love with the ancient and noble art of the theatre. He then became attracted to cinema. He directed his first long-feature film, A Breach in the Wall, in 1977, which drew critical attention to him during the Critics’ Week at the Festival de Cannes. He returned to Cannes in 1982, when his film Bamboo Brides was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight; he won an award for directing. At the National Film Festival, the film won the prize for Best Actress, which was awarded to Souad Ferhati. It also received the Grand Prix at the Mediterranean Film Festival in Valencia. With his feature-length film The Beach of the Lost Children, Ferhati participated in the Official Competition of the Venice International Film Festival in 1991. The film won the Grand Prix at the National Film Festival, as well as the Grand Prix for Best Actress – again for Souad Ferhati – at the Biennale of Arab Cinema in Paris in 1992; the Grand Prix at the African Film Festival in Milan; the Special Jury Award and the Golden Bayard for Best Artistic Contribution at the Namur International Festival of French-Speaking Film; the Grand Prix for Best Actress for Souad Ferhati at the Carthage Film Festival; and the Bronze Medal at the Damascus International Film Festival in 1993.
Jillali Ferhati has not only made films, but has also contributed to the establishment of a national cinema with a truly genuine Moroccan identity, whose roots stretch deep into the African soil, and whose branches extend high and wide, reaching out towards several horizons
1977 : Une brèche dans le mur
1982 : Poupées de roseau
1991 : La plage des enfants perdus
1995 : Chevaux de fortune
2000 : Tresses
2004 : Mémoires en détention
2010 : Dès l'aube
2013 : Secrets d'oreiller
2018 : Révolte