Marrakesh International Film Festival Unveils Lineup and Jury

8:28 PM PST 11/21/2011 by Rebecca Leffler
David Livingston/Getty Images

Signourney Weaver, Emir Kusturica and Jessica Chastain will add star power to the Moroccan movie event

Moroccan red carpets will sparkle when the 11th annual Marrakesh International Film Festival kicks off on December 2nd with an eclectic selection of titles from across the globe and a star-powered jury.

Jessica Chastain will add some new Hollywood glam to Emir Kusturica’s jury alongside French director and actress Nicole Garcia, Romanian director Radu Mihaileanu, Italian actress Maya Sansa, Indian director and actress Aparna Sen, Moroccan director Abdelkader Lagtaa and Filipino director Brillante Mendoza. Iranian director Asghar Farhadi who had to cancel his plans for jury duty to focus on his latest film A Separation, Iran’s bid for an Oscar this year, but the film's star Leila Hatami will serve in his place.

The jury will vote on the fest’s top prize the Golden Star for best film, a jury prize and kudos for best actress and actor at the closing ceremonies on December 10th.

This year's Competition selection includes 15 films from 15 different countries, including 10 titles from first-time directors.

Signourney Weaver will also be in town presiding over the Cinecoles Short Film Jury. Several high-profile titles will screen out of competition including David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, Sam Levinson’s Another Happy Day, Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Black Gold, Ami Canaan Mann’s Texas Killing Fields, Cristina Comencini’s When the Night, Gerardo Naranjo’s Miss Bala, Faouzi Bensaidi’s Death for Sale and Philippe Lefebvre’s Paris By Night.

The festival will pay tribute to Mexican cinema with several special screenings and will also screen several titles from the fest’s native Morocco. A handful of films will screen for the public at the city’s central squate the Place Djemaa El Fna including earlier works like Jean-Jacques Annaud’s The Bear from 1988 and Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai from 1999 and more recent titles such as Karan Johar’s My Name is Khan from 2010 and Roschdy Zem’s Omar Killed Me from 2011.  

The Marrakesh International Film Festival runs December 2nd – 10th.

A full list of competition titles follows:

180° by Cihan Inan - Switzerland - 1st film

BABY FACTORY (Bahay bata) by Eduardo Roy Jr. & Almon L. Derla - Philippines - 1st film BELVEDERE by Ahmed Imamovic - Bosnia Herzegovina - 2nd film

DEATH IS MY PROFESSION by Amir Hossein Saghafi - Iran - 1st film

DON'T BE AFRAID (No tengas miedo) by Montxos Armendariz - Spain - 8th film

I CARRIED YOU HOME by Tongpong Chantarangkul - Thailand - 1st film

LAND OF OBLIVION (La Terre outragée) by Michale Boganim - France, Germany, Poland - 1st film LOUISE WIMMER by Cyril Mennegun - France - 1st film

OUT OF BOUNDS (Labrador) by Frederikke Aspöck - Denmark - 1st film

RIVER OF GOLD (Rio de oro) by Pablo Aldrete - Mexico - 1st film

SEVEN ACTS OF MERCY (Sette opere di misericordia) by Gianluca & Massimiliano De Serio - Italy - 1st film

SNEAKERS (Ketcove) by Valeri Yordanov & Ivan Vladimirov - Bulgaria - 1st film

SNOWTOWN by Justin Kurtzel - Australia - 1st film

THE RIF LOVER (L'Amante du Rif) by Narjiss Nejjar - Morocco - 4th film - Opening film

WITHOUT by Mark Jackson - USA - 1st film

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