Rabat, November 19, 2019. Cinema from Africa and the Middle East has had a significant presence at the major international film festivals throughout 2019, echoing the growing interest of the international industry in the pool of talents emerging from the region. The Atlas Workshops have been designed to enable the Marrakech International Film Festival to accompany the emergence of a new generation of Moroccan, Arab, and African filmmakers, as well as to create an essential meeting place for the international industry.
Introduced in 2018, the Atlas Workshops are a creative and professional platform that supports filmmakers, as well as a space for networking among international industry representatives and regional talents. For its second edition, the Atlas Workshops supports 28 projects in development and films in post-production selected from among some 130 submissions. The selected projects represent 13 Moroccan filmmakers and 14 countries including certain territories that are rarely showcased on screens (Comoros, Djibouti, Mozambique, and Tanzania).
Teams from ten projects in development and six films in post-production will enjoy mentoring sessions from international industry professionals and compete for grants totalling MAD640,000 (€60,000). In parallel, the Atlas Workshops extends its programme with two new initiatives. The Atlas Close-Ups programme features six Moroccan projects, while the Atlas Films Showcase provides a first look at three films made by established filmmakers to festival programmers. The Atlas Workshops also showcases the documentary genre, welcoming four African documentary makers to participate in Hot Docs – Blue Ice Group.
In addition, the Atlas Workshops 2019 feature round-table discussions during which professionals will share their experiences and thoughts on African and Middle-Eastern cinema. In particular, this edition will shed light on writing for genre cinema, which is currently enjoying a resurgence in the Arab world and on the African continent. It will also explore the network model, welcoming 16 members of the Network of Alternative Arab Screens.
Overt the course of four days, with the support of Netflix, the Atlas Workshops will welcome 270 international professionals to develop and support Moroccan, Arab and African films.