Marrakech Film Festival Announces Competition Slate

"Bad Hair"

Prize winners from San Sebastian and BFI London fests are among the titles that will be judged by jurors like Martin Scorsese, Marion Cotillard and Patricia Clarkson.

PARIS -- Marrakech International Film Festival jurors including Martin Scorsese, Marion Cotillard and Patricia Clarkson will have to choose from an impressive slate of international films, including some already-honored titles, as the fifteen films in competition at the festival have been announced.

After taking the top prize at San Sebastian, Mariana Rondon’s mother-son drama Bad Hair will make another international festival entry, alongside Jeremy Saulnier’s crowdfunded Cannes entry Blue Ruin, which took home the Fipresci prize for the Directors' Fortnight sidebar back in May.

Pawel Pawlikowski’s World War II drama Ida, which took the top prize at BFI London, will also be in competition here.

Oscar-nominees Catalina Sandino Moreno and Saorise Ronan will bring a little Hollywood star power to the entries, with Moreno’s Medeas, from director Andrea Pallaoro and Ronan’s post-apocalyptic drama How I Live Now, from director Kevin Macdonald, in competition.

Japanese director Junichi Kanai’s date-rape drama Again, which bowed to good reviews in Busan, will also be in competition.

Other competition films include: Hicham Ayouch’s Fevers (France), Lee Su-jin’s South Korean school drama Han Gong-ju, Lisa Langseth’s Hotell (Sweden), Ignas JonynasThe Gambler (Lithuania), Carlos Machado Quintela’s The Swimming Pool (Cuba), Jonas Trueba’s The Wishful Thinkers (Spain), Sean Gullette’s Traitors (U.S and Morocco), Nabil Ben Yadir’s La Marche (France) and Roberto Ando’s Viva La Liberta (Italy).

Four Moroccan films will be showcased in the "Coup de Coeur" sidebar, including Mohammed Ahed Bensouda’s Derriere les Portes Fermees and Hicham Lasri’s C’est Eux Les Chiens. Said Naciri’s Sara will screen, as well as son Said C. Naciri’s Kanyamakan.

Out of competition, this year’s Cannes jury prize winner, the babies-swapped-at-birth story Like Father, Like Son from Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda will unspool, along with James Gray’s The Immigrant, starring juror Cotillard and Terry Gilliam’s highly anticipated Orwellian sci-fi satire The Zero Theorem, which opens Stateside on Dec. 20.

David Frankel’s tragicomic British biopic One Chance and Erik Poppe’s A Thousand Times Goodnight, starring Juliette Binoche, will also screen.

South Korean director Cho Se-rae’s The Stone, Italian Daniele Luchetti’s Those Happy Years and Indian Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Ram-Leela will also be shown out of competition.

The festival, which is holding a special tribute to Scandinavian cinema on Dec. 4, will screen three Swedish films out of competition, including Anna Odell’s Venice Fipresci prize-winner The Reunion and Per Fly’s Waltz for Monica. Lukas Moodysson’s coming of age story We Are the Best!, which took the top prize at Tokyo last month, will screen as the closing night film.

 The festival will show more than 110 films from 23 countries throughout the program. It will run from Nov. 29 – Dec. 7.