Marrakech International Film Festival: Martin Scorsese Named Patron of 6th Edition of Atlas Workshops

American director Martin Scorsese will be the patron of the 6th edition of the Atlas Workshops to be held in conjunction with the 20th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival, scheduled from November 24 to December 2, 2023, the Festival Foundation announced.

Legendary director and ardent defender of cinema, Martin Scorsese has been one of the world's most influential film artists for over 4 decades, the Foundation said in a press release on Tuesday, adding that the American filmmaker, who has taken part in the Festival on five occasions, would be returning to take part in its 20th edition.

In line with this engagement, Scorses has agreed to be the patron of the 6th edition of the Atlas Workshops, the festival's industry programme dedicated to talent from the African continent and the Arab world, scheduled for November 27 to 30, the same source stated, adding that Martin Scorsese will thus be the first major personality invited to sponsor an edition of the Workshops and give his name to its class of prizewinners.

The American filmmaker will take part in a number of sessions with the selected projects, inaugurating a new Festival tradition which will see a major figure of world cinema be invited to be the patron of the Atlas Workshops each year, says the Foundation, explaining that each year’s cohort of participants will bear the name of that year’s patron. As such, 2023’s Atlas Workshop filmmakers will be the Class of Martin Scorsese.

"I am always happy to be returning to my beloved Marrakech Film Festival—when I haven’t been able to attend in person, I’ve always been there in spirit. For this very special anniversary edition of the festival, I have been entrusted with a precious task: to interact with young filmmakers and help to guide them on their way. I look forward to seeing old friends, and to making new ones," said the director, quoted in the press release.

The Atlas Workshops is an industry talent development programme launched in 2018 by the Marrakech International Film Festival. It supports the emergence of a new generation of Moroccan, Arab, and African filmmakers and creates a space and environment for exchanges between international professionals and regional talent, the same source said, adding that,over its five editions to date, the Atlas Workshops has to date supported 111 projects and films, of which 48 hail from Morocco.

In recent years, several films supported by the Atlas Workshops have been selected for and won prizes at major international festivals, confirming the programme’s role as a key platform for incubation of work from the African continent and the Arab world.

The same source adds that, at the Festival de Cannes this year, four films supported by the workshops were screened in various sections: THE MOTHER OF ALL LIES by Asmae El Moudir (Un Certain Regard—Best Director; L’Œil d’Or for Best Documentary); HOUNDS by Kamal Lazraq (Un Certain Regard—Jury Prize); INSHALLAH A BOY by Amjad Al Rasheed (Semaine de la critique—Gan Foundation Award for Distribution); and DESERTS by Faouzi Bensaïdi (Directors’ Fortnight).

Source: Agency Morocaine De Presse